FAQ

  • How do I sign up as a new user?
  • Where are you? What are your hours?
    • Top floor of the Dental Tower, room D11-41.
    • Hours: 8:30-4:30 M-F, closed UF holidays
    • Phone: 273-7749.  Email: molecular@ufl.edu
  • What equipment is available for self serve?
    • Microtomes, cryostat, embedding station, Zeiss microscope- See Equipment.
    • Bring your own microtome/cryostat supplies or purchase from the Core.
  • What are your turnaround times (TAT)?
    • These are approximate times as they will depend on other workload as well as the complexity of your submission.
    • If you need a quicker turn around time, please ask staff to expedite. Additional fees may apply.
    • Process and embed (P&E)- 1-3 days. Processors are run overnight when there are enough samples to keep user costs as low as possible. Embedding starts early the next morning and samples are ready by mid morning.
    • Unstained slides- 0.5-1 day depending on your number of blocks, # slides/block, and any special requests for sectioning.
    • H&E and special stains- 1-3 day. Slides are often batch stains to keep your costs low.
    • IHC: 5-10 workdays, depends on current workload and complexity of your request.
  • How do I fill out the Submission form?
    • Download and save the WORD form on your computer.
    • Fill in the required fields and check all boxes next to the services you need.
    • If making tissue blocks, fill in the table for cassette IDs or send list in Excel.
    • Fill in any special requests and talk to a staff member when you drop off your samples.
    • Email the completed form to molecular@ufl.edu.
  • Do you accept clinical samples?
    • Yes, de-identified for research studies.
  • How do I submit the samples?
    • Bring tissues in cassettes in a leak proof container labeled with PI’s name and contents (70% ethanol). Let us know if you want your container returned otherwise it will be recycled.
    • Sign the log form at the submission counter.
    • You can provide your own slide boxes or purchase from the Core.
  • How do I know when my samples are ready?
    • You will be notified by email.
    • Pick up where you dropped off.
    • Initial and date the original submission form and leave it in the red folder.
    • If you want an electronic copy of the services performed, ask at pick up or request by email.
  • How do I fix and prepare the samples before submission?
    • Discuss your project with Core staff to ensure optimal results for your experiments. There are also many good online links such as Histopathology in Mouse Metabolic Studies.
    • Please adequately fix your samples and transfer them to 70% ethanol to bring them to the core.
  • What size should the tissue samples be?
    • Rule is thickness of a nickle.
    • If your samples touch the sides of the cassette, they are too big. If they touch the lid, they are too thick.
  • How do I label the cassettes?
    • Hand label cassettes with #2 pencil or solvent-resistant markers (listed below). Labeling with Sharpies and other ink pens can come off during paraffin processing.
    • Approved marking pens include:
      • Cancer Diagnostics Moist Marker Plus from Lab Safety Supply
      • HistoPrep Pen from Fisher Scientific
      • Klinipath KP Marker Plus from Mercedes medical
      • Stafmark Pen from Statlab Medical Products
  • Will your lab accept samples in other fixatives besides NBF like 4% paraformaldehyde?
    • Yes- all fixatives are accepted.
    • Transfer your fixed samples out of fixative before submitting so you determine duration of fixation.
  • What is the difference between NBF and 4% PAF and which is best?
    • From the Vanderbilt Pathology Core: Not all fixatives are alike. The best example of this is 10% neutral buffered formalin and 4% paraformaldehyde. These two solutions are not the same in composition or rate of fixation. 10% neutral buffered formalin will cross-link the proteins in specimens more quickly than 4% paraformaldehyde. 10% formalin is very rarely made up in labs, is readily available from most scientific vendors, comes ready to use (no dilution is required), and is stable for long periods of time at room temperature. Paraformaldehyde can be purchased in powder form and must be dissolved to a final 4% in PBS. It should be made up right before use because of its poor shelf life (1 week, refrigerated). Stock solutions can also be purchased or prepared. We highly encourage the use of 10% neutral buffered formalin for fixation. 4% paraformaldehde gained widespread usage when investigators were performing a lot of in situ hybridization work. Unless you are actively using these procedures, please consider trying 10% neutral buffered formalin first.