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epitope recovery, antigen retrieval, ihc protocol, hier protocol, formalin fixd, paraffin embedded tissue sections, immunohistochemistry

Antigen Retriever for antigen recovery on paraffin-embedded, formalin fixed tissue sections
"...the key word about Retriever is reproducibility. Due to fully automatic processing, the stainings are always the same whether they are done within a few hours or a few months apart..."

2100 Antigen Retriever

New model 2015

Why choose the Retriever?

Standardization of staining is not only crucial for diagnostics but also for research, particularly in the field of research pathology. It enables accurate comparison of results obtained from experiments conducted at different times.

Several years ago, we developed a tool called the Retriever specifically to ensure standardized staining. Unlike many other "pressure-cookers," the Retriever excels in epitope recovery on formalin-fixed routine pathology sections while preserving tissue morphology and cellular shapes. It maintains the integrity of the cell's nucleus while consistently delivering the same high-quality recovery of fixed tissue.

Since its initial launch in 2006, the Retriever has undergone continuous refinement, making it one of the most advanced and widely recognized epitope recovery units available today.


The Retriever involves a "pressure cooker" technology developed in collaboration with Prestige Medical Ltd, but it significantly differs from sterilization equipment. The machine incorporates an onboard chip that regulates the heating profile, pressure, and cycle duration, specifically tailored for optimal processing of routine formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. It is well known that routine pathology tissues can vary significantly in terms of fixation levels and embedding temperatures. For over 10 years, we have dedicated our efforts to optimizing the parameters for effectively unmasking antigens in a wide range of tissues.


Firstly, the Retriever does not require any specialized training. Even a novice trainee in the laboratory can operate it efficiently.

Secondly, it allows for the simultaneous use of multiple buffers within a single cycle and machine. This flexibility is especially valuable as certain antibodies may require citrate buffer, while others may necessitate acid citrate or EDTA buffers.

Thirdly, the Retriever ensures high reproducibility of results, enabling the review of stainings conducted over an extended period. This reliability is particularly advantageous when working with a large time frame.

Lastly, the Retriever exhibits exceptional reliability. Throughout our extensive experience in the field, we have only had to replace two machines. Therefore, by acquiring the Retriever, you can expect many years of uninterrupted work.

antigen retrieval

The idea for the Retriever - epitope retrieval at the push of a button - came to me when my PhD student obtained IHC staining that was noticeably different from what we had achieved a month prior. These were highly valuable tissues from our transgenic mice, and their availability was limited due to their age. Despite processing the sections in the same microwave and under identical conditions, it was evident that the extent of processing was completely inconsistent. It led me to contemplate how wonderful it would be to have a reliable and user-friendly equipment that would ensure consistent processing of tissue sections every single time.

Epitope recivery

A proper epitope recovery may be critical for your conclusions on protein expression. The pictures on the right show staining for E-cadherin on human small intestine tissue without processing in Retriever (upper) and after the processing in Retriever (lower). One pathology lab from Belgium reported us that they had up to 30% of false-negative staining for oestrogen receptor with microwave epitope recovery, and less than 2% after they switched to Retriever.

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