An inexpensive method of small paraffin tissue microarrays using mechanical pencil tips

Abdelhadi M. Shebl, Khaled R. Zalata, Maha M. Amin, Amira K. El-Hawary*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Tissue microarray technology has provided a high throughput means of evaluating potential biomarkers in archival pathological specimens. This study was carried out in order to produce tissue microarray blocks using mechanical pencil tips without high cost.Method: Conventional mechanical pencil tips (Rotring Tikky II Mechanical Pencil 1.0 mm) were used to cut out 1 mm wax cylinders from the recipient block, creating from 36 to 72 holes. Three cores of tumor areas were punched out manually by using the mechanical pencil tips from donor paraffin embedded tissue blocks and transferred to the holes of the paraffin tissue microarrays.Results: This technique was easy and caused little damage to the donor blocks. We successfully performed H&E slides and immunodetection without substantial tissue cylinder loss.Conclusion: Our mechanical pencil tip technique is the most inexpensive easy technique among the literature. It also takes a reasonable amount of time and reduces antibody consumption during immunohistochemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117
JournalDiagnostic Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Microarrays-mechanical
  • Paraffin tissue
  • Pencil tips

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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