There currently exists no standard procedure or protocol to be used in the collection and fixation of the tissues. Consequently, differences in handling, fixation, and embedding of specimens have resulted in a wide variety of tissue sample quality. You can also buy FFPE samples from online sources.
Even though finding reliable and high-quality FFPE samples can be challenging, there are vital factors that you ought to look out for before carrying out a purchase of the samples.
- Licensed pathologist oversight – During the purchase, the presence of a licensed pathologist is very important as he/she will ensure that the collection of these tissues is thoroughly done and the important data on the samples have been recorded in detail.
- Quality control – For FFPE samples undergoing an exhaustive quality control evaluation, the sample blocks should be microscopically checked to verify that they will meet the needs of researchers.
- Annotation data – The validity of experimental data is essential for drawing conclusions. Therefore, settle on those FFPE samples that come with a pathologist’s report and demographic details.
- Genetic profiling information – Reliable FFPE samples to be used in research are those that have detailed genetic information. Let the seller provide you with this type of information.
- Fixation protocols – Since formalin is very sensitive, the thickness of the tissue and the duration of its fixation greatly affects the quality of formalin formed. For this reason, inquire as to the fixation process of the sample before its purchase.
- Laboratory capabilities – Take the time and study the processing protocols and sample workflow since different bio-repositories and tissue banks offer different levels of scientific expertise.
Take your time to ensure that you have settled on the best supplier of FFPE samples. When this is done, your efforts will be worth the findings you will obtain. Don’t be in a hurry!