Seminiferous vessels stained for cytokeratin 18 without (upper) and with (lower) antigen retrieval
Chemically fixing tissue sections may lock in a good result for the world to see, but it can complicate subsequent immunohistochemical staining by masking relevant antigens. A process known as antigen retrieval can restore the antigenicity of proteins altered by fixation and improve immunohistochemical detection. It can also reduce background staining, which makes it an important step in developing a standardized protocol. Until recently, antigen was typically retrieved manually using a microwave oven and special solutions. While this method generally produces good results, variables such as solution temperature, microwave wattage, and the size and color of the container holding the solution can affect the quality, reproducibility, and reliability of results. With the introduction of the GenoMx1000 (patent pending), the first fully automated antigen retrieval system, BioGenex Laboratories Inc. of San Ramon, Calif., standardizes and streamlines...

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