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Open Access Open Badges Methodology

An alternative high output tissue microarray technique

Yuan Shi, Deming He, Yingyong Hou*, Qin Hu, Chen Xu, Yalan Liu, Dongxian Jiang, Jieakesu Su, Haiying Zeng and Yunshan Tan*

Author affiliations

Department of Pathology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Fenglin Road #180, 200032, Shanghai, P.R. China

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:9  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-9

Published: 21 January 2013



Tissue microarray (TMA) is a high throughput research tool, which has greatly facilitated and accelerated in situ tissue analyses. However, its productivity has been restricted due to the confined thickness of traditional donor block. Here, we introduce an improved high output TMA method that is applicable to a broader range of tissue samples.


In this method, a 3.6 cm long and 2.7 cm wide recipient block with 88 square lattices (3 mm in width) was first prepared using several commercial instruments. A 2 mm wide and 6 mm long tissue rod was then prepared using a self-made blade-shaped knife from each paraffin embedded donor block of gastrointestinal stromal tumors. These rods were manually arrayed one by one into the corresponding lattices of the 60°C pre-softened recipient block with the guide of holes drilled with a steel needle. A 70-rod TMA was made to testify this method.


The prepared TMA had well defined array configurations, good tissue morphology and fully preserved proteins and DNA. A total of 500–1000 TMA sections could be easily obtained from a TMA block.


This low-cost and time-saving method provides an alternative sampling tool for high output TMA.

Virtual Slides

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Tissue rod; Tissue microarray; Technology; Sampling tool; High output