A Scientific Demo Animation
Automating Section Mounting For Better Microtomy
Unless you’re a scientist working in a lab, the above series of words may not make much sense but they are incredibly important. Microtomy is a method for the preparation of thin sections for materials such as tissue for microscopic study. In other words, it’s how those slides are made for examining on a microscope. As it turns out, the tool, the microtome, for making those slides, requires a lot of human effort that can lead to error and literal pain for the lab tech tasked with making hundereds of slides. This is where the Aquaro ASM comes in and how the demo animation intends to explain it. The Aquaro ASM interfaces with existing motorized microtomes to enable hands-free cutting and mounting of sections, resulting in fewer errors and recuts, and fewer repetitive motion injuries.
Creating the Aquaro ASM Demo Animation
Considering that microtomy is the preparation of objects for microsopic study, it’s no surprise that the Aquaro ASM works on a microscopic level not easily seen by eye or video. Aquaro contacted Kohlitz to create a demo animation that could reveal how the Aquaro ASM works. Much like a science book, Kohlitz used zoom-in bubbles and cut aways to show unseen angles and small details. Many text labels also supplement the animation along with video clips of the actual machine and high-quality slide it produces.
The Aquaro ASM is an automated section mounting system that interfaces with existing motorized microtomes to transfer sections from the blades to slides.
Before beginning sectioning and mounting, the user programs the Aquaro ASM via an intuitive touch screen.
The Aquaro ASM signals the microtome to cut a section.
The Aquaro ASM control screen allows users to create, run, and save programs defining the number of sections per slide, the number of levels, the location of sections on the slide, and the temperature and time for relaxing sections.
Because the Aquaro ASM pairs with and signals a motorized microtome – fully utilizing its motorized capabilities – section thickness is more consistent.
After a section is cut, it sits on the water at the top of the Aquaro ASM’s channel while the edge of the section adheres to the microtome blade.
A gentle water pulse releases the section from the blade and sends it down the Aquaro ASM’s channel.
From this view, you see the edge of the section adhering to the blade. Then the gentle pulse of water detaches the section from the blade.
The Aquaro ASM enables hands-free cutting, floating, and mounting sections resulting in reduced errors and fewer repetitive motion injuries.
As sections travel down the channel, it is aligned by the water stream.
The gentle water stream transfers the section to a basket for floating and relaxing.
Sections are floated on warm water at a temperature – and for an amount of time – which are both specified by the user.
The Aquaro ASM handles only one section at a time, eliminating any chance of mislabeling or cross-contamination.
After the section is floated, it is mounted as the slide is retracted by a robotic arm.
The water channel drains into a coarse filter, which catches large fragments of paraffin or tissue. Discarded sections from facing – or between levels – are also caught by the coarse filter.
The water is then passed through a fine 20 micron filter to further reduce the chance of contamination by wax or tissue.
Removing these particles, commonly known as floaters, can reduce contamination and improve slide quality.
Water is then recycled back.
Only filtered water touches the section.
The Aquaro ASM provides consistent high-quality slides, increased laboratory efficiency, and improved work life in the lab.
The Aquaro ASM has been demonstrated to successfully mount a variety of tissues, including skin, lung, and liver, maintaining slide quality for a variety of stains.
The Aquaro ASM provides high-quality slides by ensuring consistent placement of sections on slides.
In addition, the double filtration system – through both a course and fine water filter – removes debris that could otherwise affect slide quality.
The Aquaro ASM automates section mounting for better microtomy.
Learn more about the Aquaro ASM at aquarobio.com.