Manual Construction of a Tissue Microarray using the Tape Method and a Handheld Microarrayer

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The tissue microarray (TMA) is an important research tool in which many formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples can be represented in a single paraffin block. This is achieved by using tissue cores extracted from the region of interest of different donor FFPE blocks and arranging them into a single TMA paraffin block. Once constructed, sections from the completed TMA can be used to perform immunohistochemistry, chromogenic, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and RNA ISH studies to assess protein expression as well as genomic and transcriptional alterations in many samples simultaneously, thus minimizing tissue usage and reducing reagent costs. There are several different TMA construction techniques. One of the most common construction methods is the recipient method, which works best with cores of the same length for which a minimum length of 4 mm is recommended. Unfortunately, tissue blocks can be heavily resected during the diagnostic process, frequently resulting in "non-ideal" donor block thicknesses of less than 4 mm. The current article and video focus on the double-sided adhesive tape method; an alternative manual, low cost, easy to use, and rapid method to construct low density (<50 cores) TMAs that is highly compatible with these non-ideal donor blocks. This protocol provides a step-by-step guide on how to construct a TMA using this method, with a focus on the critical importance of pathological review and post construction validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere63086
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number184
StatePublished - Jun 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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