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Why Do Histologists Need to Use Semi/Fully Automatic Rotary Microtome?

   |  October 20, 2022

Pathological sectioning specialists always encounter the following problems when using the manual rotary microtome machine: 

(1) poor sectioning results due to thick sectioning;

(2) the range of manual feeding is uncontrollable in regard to the cutting of small specimens including skin tissues and biopsy tissues, leading to excessive loss of tissues, as well as causing muscle fatigue;

(3) the trouble of maintenance.

To solve the above problems, RWD offers high-end semi-automatic S700, S710 and S700A fully automated paraffin rotary microtome machines, enabling operators to obtain the precise sectioning results. This article will explain why semi-automatic and fully automated rotary microtome machines are the preferable choices in 5 different aspects. 

(I) Outstanding and Steady Sectioning Performance of Automated Rotary Microtome

Highly Precise Injection System

The highly precise feeding system adopts cross roller bearings with high tensile strength to prevent vibration. A highly-dense spindle ensures that the thickness of the sample is set to a minimum. Together with the highly deliberate motorized feeding function and the link block made of aerospace aluminium materials, the machine guarantees steady and precise injection and sectioning performance. 

As for the manual rotary microtome machine, the sample feeding system relies on the gear wheel. The teeth on the gear wheel will get worn with time, undermining the precision of feeding. At the same time, damages of different machinery components may result in poor sectioning results when it comes to immunohistochemistry and molecular pathology research. 

(II) Prevent the Waste of Samples

Rock Function + Stepper Motor For Accurate Trimming

Start the rock function. Expertised operators can rotate the handwheel in a half turn or quarter turn instead of a full turn, shortening the sectioning process and enhancing the cutting efficiency. Equipped with the stepper motor, the microtome sets the section thickness based on the advance/moving range so as to prevent the excessive loss of tissues. 

Manual rotary microtome is not able to control the advance/moving range when cutting small specimens like skin tissues or biopsy tissues.

Adjustable and Reversible Sample Orientation

Patented visual pointer provides callibration that marks the sample head, making adjustment angle clear and visible. It allows precise control of the sample head orientation when adjusting the angles of the tissues’ inclined planes. It is easy and fast for multiple microtome devices to keep the angle settings tally, thereby reducing the waste of samples caused by trimming. 

The sample head of the manual rotary microtome only has a 0 degree callibration marker. Sample head adjustment all depends on the operator’s experience and intuition. Trial sectioning may yield poor results that requires operators to reset the microtome all over again. It doesn’t only affect efficiency but also wastes a lot of samples.

(III) Highly Efficient Operation

More Convenient Operation

The integration of feeding knob into the machine body conforms to ergonomics design. By having a small advance/moving range, the machine provides a more comfortable user experience, and it does not take up too much space. The speed of feeding can be controlled flexibly within the range of 0-1800um/s, thus boosting the operation efficiency. 

On the contrary, the handwheel of manual rotary microtome requires wide advance/moving range. Manual operation is involved in the injection process, causing muscle fatigue and soreness in the long run. 

Smart Sectioning with Fully-Automated Cutting Mode

Smart sectioning allows fully automated cutting mode. Slicing tasks are completed based on the preset cutting requirements, delivering stable and standardized sectioning performance. Automated cutting is applicable to full sectioning of specimens including embryos, brain tissues and so on. It is also useful for alleviating the burden of high sectioning demand. 

Manual rotary microtome does not provide a fully-automated cutting mode. It causes fatigue and slows down the speed of sectioning in the long run, leading to poor sectioning results. 

(IV) To Keep the Costs Low 

Cleaning Becomes Easier

The high-volume waste tray possesses the magnetic function which allows easy disassembling and installing. With its surface being coated with special materials, the waste tank is easy to clean due to its anti-static, paraffin resistant qualities that greatly reduce the time for cleaning. The adhesion of paraffin materials to the waste tray has always been a problem for the manual rotary microtome machine but now this problem can be resolved. 

Data Is Recordable and Traceable

Equipped with 5-inch touch screen, the rotary microtome machine keeps the sectioning history and records the time corresponding to the operation. This is convenient for tracing the data in the past. Meanwhile, it gives warning signals, allowing convenient maintenance management and easy troubleshooting. However, the manual rotary microtome lacks this function, and hereby maintenance has to be done in the conventional way which is very time-consuming. Clients have to wait for 2-3 working days before resuming the operation. 

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