epitope recovery, antigen retrieval, ihc protocol, hier protocol, formalin fixd, paraffin embedded tissue sections, immunohistochemistry
The idea of Retriever – epitope retrieval by the push of a button – came to me when my PhD student got IHC staining that was clearly different from those obtained a month ago. These were very valuable tissues of our transgenic mice, aged, and the availability of the material was limited. Both times the sections were processed in the same microwave under the same conditions, but clearly the degree of processing was entirely different. So I thought how nice it would be if there was a reliable, easy to use piece of equipment where you could process the tissue sections exactly the same way every time.
Retriever is a “pressure cooker” developed in cooperation with Prestige Medical Ltd, however it is very different from sterilizing equipment. A chip on-board the machine controls the profile of heating, pressure and the length of the cycle optimal for most of the routine formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissues. Everyone knows that the routine pathology tissues may differ quite substantially by the degree of fixation, by temperature during embedding etc. Over 10 years we've been working on the optimization of the parameters for the best unmasking of the antigens in most tissues.
First, Retriever requires no special training. Even a fresh trainee in the lab can use it. Second, it allows the use of several different buffers, simultaneously, (often some of your antibodies require citrate buffer, other – acid citrate, and other – EDTA) within one cycle within one machine. Third, it gives high reproducibility of the results, which allows reviewing of stainings performed within a large time frame. Fourth, it is very reliable. Over all the time in the field we've had to replace only 2 machines. So getting Retriever you may expect many years of uninterrupted work.
"...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?
Not only for diagnostics, but also for research (and especially for research pathology) standardization of staining is of critical importance, as allows to compare the results obtained in experiments far apart..
A tool we created several years ago, precisely to assure standard staining, is Retriever. In contrast to many other "pressure-cookers" it allows proper recovery of epitopes on formalin-fixed (routine pathology sections) while preserving tissue morphology, shapes of cells, not affecting the shape of the cell's nucleus while always giving you the same quality and degree of fixed tissue recovery.
Since its launch in 2006 it had only been further perfected, and today may well be the most advanced and well referred epitope recovery unit.
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 (above) and after the processing in Retriever (below). 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.