An agarose matrix facilitates sectioning of tissue microarray blocks

J Histochem Cytochem. 2007 Jan;55(1):21-4. doi: 10.1369/jhc.6A6987.2006. Epub 2006 Aug 9.


Tissue microarray (TMA) is a powerful, high-throughput technique for in situ investigation of biomarkers in many tissue samples in a paraffin block by immunohistochemistry or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and has rapidly become the standard in marker studies. One of the difficult steps in the procedure is the sectioning of array blocks and mounting of sections using special slides and/or adhesive-coated tape, which demands specific experience and is time-consuming. We report an arraying method that allows melting of the receiving paraffin block and subsequent sectioning like any ordinary paraffin-embedded tissue block. The major difference from the standard microarray technique is the use of an agarose matrix in the recipient block. The agarose matrix allows melting of the paraffin without disturbing the array, resulting in perfect integration of the tissue cores. The agarose-paraffin TMA blocks limit tissue core loss during cutting, mounting, or immunohistochemical or FISH staining and better maintains the array.

MeSH terms

  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Keratin-6 / metabolism
  • Keratin-7 / metabolism
  • Microtomy
  • Paraffin
  • Sepharose*
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / metabolism
  • Tissue Array Analysis / methods*
  • Tissue Embedding / methods*


  • Keratin-6
  • Keratin-7
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein
  • Paraffin
  • Sepharose
  • ErbB Receptors