Automatic tissue processor – Types and Principles

What is the automatic tissue processor?

Tissue processors are essential in every pathology lab. An automatic tissue processor is a complex automated device used to prepare sample tissues that will be studied under a microscope. It is used to dehydrate, clear, infiltrate and embed tissues in paraffin or other embedding media such as microcrystalline wax. Read about the Maico audiometer.

The conventional structure of a tissue processor is made up of several compartments that house the tissue samples and different reagents needed for tissue preparation. The tissue samples are first preserved in a preservative solution, and after that, they are dehydrated in a series of progressively stronger alcohol solutions. The samples are cleared in a solvent that eliminates the alcohol from the samples after dehydration and gets the tissue ready for embedding. After that, the tissue is submerged in molten paraffin wax which is impregnated with wax and ready for sectioning. Take a look at microtome blades.

Depending on the needs of the particular laboratory, the automatic tissue processor may operate in a variety of modes. To enable customization of the processing protocol, some tissue processors may offer adjustable processing times, temperatures, and agitation levels. To monitor the processing steps and guard against mistakes or accidents, the tissue processor may additionally have built-in safety features like sensors and alarms.

Types of automatic tissue processors

Carousel tissue processor

tissue processor

This type of processor consists of a spinning chamber that is used to house tissue cassettes while they are being processed. A certain number of cassettes can be held by the carousel, which will then transport them through the tissue processor’s various processing units. The tissue sample is kept in the cassette, a little plastic container, while the processes are taking place.

To agitate and mix the tissue cassettes with the processing reagent, the carousel tissue processor has been designed to spin at various rates and directions. As a result, the final tissue sections may be of higher quality since the reagents are spread uniformly throughout the tissue samples.

Vacuum Infiltration Processor VIP tissue processor

tissue processor

It is a vacuum-assisted tissue processor that makes use of pressure differences to increase the effectiveness with which the reagents enter the tissue samples.

The automatic delivery of the reagents required for each step via a vacuum system aid in ensuring that the tissue samples are treated uniformly as the tissue sample in the cassette rests in the sample holder.

The VIP tissue processor’s capacity to process tissues quickly and with little manual labor is one of its benefits. It is far quicker than other tissue processors, processing tissue samples in as little as 2 hours. Moreover, the VIP tissue processor offers streamlined processing times and increased throughput along with reliable, high-quality results. Easylyte is also another device that detects and measures the concentration of the various in the serum

Principle of automatic tissue processors

Although they may differ slightly in how they process tissues, they follow the same principle.

  • Fixation: To stabilize and maintain the cellular and tissue architecture, the tissue samples are first fixed in a preservative solution, such as formalin.
  • Dehydration: To eliminate the water content of the tissues, the fixed tissues are subsequently treated through a series of alcohol solutions with increasing concentrations.
  • Clearing: To get rid of the alcohol and get the tissues ready for embedding, the dehydrated tissues are next treated via several clearing agents, like xylene or other organic solvents.
  • Infiltration: The tissue samples are infiltrated and made ready for sectioning by putting them in a molten embedding medium, usually paraffin wax.
  • Embedding: After the tissue samples have been contaminated, molten wax is poured into the molds and left to cool, solidify, and harden. Another principle you must know is that of the smartlyte electrolyte analyzer.

Parts of the automatic tissue processor


  • Control panel- This is where instructions are entered to operate the processor.
  • Sample holder- This part houses the tissue sample during processing.
  • Reagents bath- These containers contain the reagents for processing the tissue sample.

Carousel tissue processor

Carousel- It holds the tissue sample as it transfers it from one reagent to the other.


  • Vacuum pump: To help reagents penetrate tissue samples, many tissue processors use a vacuum pump. The processing chamber’s negative pressure, which is created by the vacuum pump, aids in drawing the chemicals into the tissue samples.
  • Heating elements: To facilitate tissue processing, the reagents and tissue samples are warmed by the heating elements in the tissue processor. To get the best possible processing conditions for each phase, the temperature can be adjusted.
  • Drainage system: Gets rid of waste products and utilized chemicals produced during processing, it may include an exhaust fan for releasing reagent fumes, and odors may be a part of the drainage system.

Final thoughts

The histology laboratory cannot do without the automatic tissue processor as it plays an essential role in increasing the rate of detecting a disease. Another device in the laboratory which makes work was easy is the Gazelle HB variant.

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