Pathology labs worldwide face a shortage of trained histopathologists, says Dennis Chenoweth, corporate vice president of diagnostics at DakoCytomation of Carpinteria, Calif. Recognizing "the need to provide a continuous-flow, high-throughput system for performing complex staining of microscope slides," the company will soon release the Eridan Staining System, a benchtop instrument that automates slide preparation, Chenoweth says.

Eridan has eight drawers and a 64-slide capacity. While one drawer of slides is analyzed, the next set of slides is prepared using InfoGlyph, a computer-generated dot-matrix patterning system that would replace bar codes. By the time the user loads the last drawer, the first drawer is ready to be reloaded, thereby avoiding workflow gaps inherent in batch processing. Chenoweth estimates that the Eridan system can process several hundred slides in an eight-hour shift instead of the usual 50–100 slides.

In an 80–90-minute one-drawer run, the instrument deparaf-finizes the slides, unmasks antigens with...

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