A tissue microarray is a very recent high throughput technology that enables scientists to test several tissue samples using different antibodies. It can be used to discover new genetic markers and new proteins and can also act as tools in validation and diagnostic development. In addition t to being compatible with immunohistochemistry, they can also measure DNA, RNA and protein markers.
This versatile technique in which analysis of data is automated can greatly facilitate prospective and retrospective human tissue studies. It’s a practical and an effective tool but can also help identify new prognostic and diagnostic markers in human cancers.
Types of tissue microarrays
Tumor progression arrays- These tissue microarrays consist of a variety of tissues including malignant, premalignant and normal oral lesions. In these arrays, molecular and morphological changes that take place during the progression can easily be assessed.
Prognostic arrays-These tissue microarrays consist of several tumor samples where any change that occurs in the protein expression can be identified.
Why use tissue microarray
A major issue in biology is the validation of a new concept. The main problem is that there is always lack of enough tissue either in case number or amount. This regular shortage of tissue can partly be attributed to the fact that the initial sampling is done by a pathologist whose main goal is to offer diagnostic consultation that’s not meant for future experimentation.
This difficulty is further complicated by increasingly strict guidelines concerning getting an informed consent for its use. Thus, when tissue is gotten it should be managed well so as to maximize its value. This microarray therefore represents a very effective way to use this scarce resource. This means there are so many benefits of tissue microarray, find out more here.
Benefits of tissue microarray
The main tumor block can be preserved- This tumor block can be preserved and later used for future research and verification of clinical diagnoses. This is because only small cores of tumor tissues are taken back.
It can be used to analyze large number of specimen- Since large number of specimen can be analyzed, various statistical tests can be done to obtain more accurate results.
It provides experimental uniformity- With tissue microarray technology; each sample is treated in an identical manner. This means an entire cohort can be analyzed in on one single slide and in one batch.
Decreased time, volume and cost- Since only a very small amount of reagent is needed to analyze the entire cohort, very few laboratory personnel is needed. This method has therefore proven to be cost effective, of shorter duration and very much efficient.
It increases the speed of molecular analysis- With this technology, the speed of molecular analysis is boosted 100 times. More so, a very large number of molecular targets can be analyzed while precious tissues are not destroyed.
All the samples passes through the same working procedure- The incubation time, reagent concentration, wash conditions, temperatures, and antigen retrieval are all identical.
Well, those are some of major benefits of tissue microarrays. Tissue microarray technology is an effective and practical tool that’s suitable for high throughput molecular analysis of tissues that can help identify new prognostic and diagnostic markers. It not only offers a wide range of potential applications in basic research, drug discovery and prognostic oncology but also has varying degrees of research use. It’s believed that very soon it will greatly help in the transition of basic research findings into major clinical applications, learn more about tissue microarray.