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Unlocking the mysteries of histology, together.

Hello Histotechs and welcome to HistoHints – your go-to destination for all things histology! Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting your journey, we're glad you're here. Histology is embedded in our DNA, just like you. Get ready for a curated collection of tips, tricks, and insightful tidbits that will make your histology adventures even more exciting. Let's dive into the world of tissue mysteries together! 

  1. Can I Use Scalpel Blades and Handles from Different Brands?

    It’s a busy day in the gross room and time for a new scalpel blade. You grab a blade from a new box and attach it to the blade handle only to notice that the blade seems very loose and doesn’t seem safe to use. So, you check the handle and the blade to ensure they are compatible and confirm that your #4 handle and the #22 blades should work together and normally do, but this time they don’t. Why not? 

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  2. Hidden Secrets of the Slide Dryer

    As histotechs, we are aware that slides are the star of the show. However, we also know that slides don’t work on their own. In the quiet corners of our labs, small equipment like slide dryers fade into the background, thanklessly performing their function. We cut slides, place them in the oven, set the timer, and forget about them until we hear the timer and remove our slides. Did you know that there are variables that can impact the effectiveness of slide dryers? 

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  3. 5 Cassette Labeling Hacks When Using Ink Pens

    Not every lab pen will work effectively with every cassette. Explore these helpful hints to safeguard hand-labeled cassette ink from washing off during processing. 

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  4. Transform Your Small Biopsy Handling Experience

    How many of these challenges have you encountered in the gross room or in the lab? 

    • Struggling to get the biopsy bag open to put a biopsy specimen into. 
    • Fumbling with biopsy paper to get it wrapped securely to protect the specimen. 
    • Tediously separating one foam
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  5. Large Format. Complete Cases.

    We’ve all had that piece of tissue that is too big to fit into a standard cassette, demanding careful dissection to preserve margins or essential diagnostic material. Or once dissected, the tissue uses four cassettes, resulting in four blocks to cut and four slides to stain – consuming additional tech time. 

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  6. Battle of the Printers: Thermal Transfer or Laser Printer?

    Selecting between thermal transfer or laser printers for your lab is a crucial decision that can impact patient safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Important factors come into play when making the decision, including cost considerations, print quality and durability, and environmentally friendly factors. 

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  7. How PiSmart Thermal Transfer Printers and Cassettes offer increased Patient Safety

    As histotechs, we all know that patient safety is one of the most important concerns in the lab. And we know that patient safety includes clear and accurate labeling of every single cassette that is used for patient tissue. Every day cassettes are printed, go through fixation, processing, and embedding while needing the print to stay intact and be as clean and crisp as when first printed. 

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  8. Choosing the right slide or cassette printer for your lab

    Still handwriting cassettes or slides and thinking it may be time to automate your printing and invest in printers? Hesitant to purchase due to budget constraints or time needed to transition and train your team? Don’t let this stop you! There are options available to make the transition as seamless and trouble-free as possible. And the benefits to your patients and staff are worth it.

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  9. 6 Simple Adjustments to take your Microtomy from Menacing to Manageable

    Experiencing challenges in cutting tissue blocks? Unsure whether it is related to the blade, microtome, or possibly an issue with the block? 

    Here are 6 simple adjustments that can help with common microtomy headaches, such as thick and thin sections, excess chatter and venetian blinds, or compression of tissue. 

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  10. 5 tips to take your coverslipping tape from cranky to cooperative

    Cranky coverslipping tape? 5 tips to ensure trouble-free coverslipping.

    Common problems with coverslipping tape like air pockets under the film, bubbles, waviness, or improper adhesion can often be resolved with a few simple tips and tricks. 

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