mPrep/s Workstation

mPrep/s™ Workstation efficiently loads and orients specimens into mPrep/s capsules.  Use for TEM and SEM.

 

Accurate orientation. Specimens may be oriented using several methods

Efficient workflow. Streamlines specimen processing from dissection to reagent processing

Reduce handling. Once loaded in capsules, specimens are not touched again for TEM embedding or SEM mounting

Easy dissection. Single focal plane keep specimens in focus during dissection and when loading specimens in capsules

Wet samples. Dissect and load specimens wetted by buffers or fixatives

Efficient reagent processing. Directly load capsules onto pipettor from Workstation


Organized for efficient workflow


Product Description

  • Durable, corrosion-resistant materials for long service with saline, buffers and aldehyde fixatives. Can be fully immersed for cleaning.  Safe cleaning with detergents, bleach and alcohol
  • Top cutting surface is:
    • Soft high density polyethylene (HDPE) that minimizes dulling of fine dissection tools
    • Low glare and lightly textured surface for optimal visibility and easy specimen handling
    • Top is easily replaced if it becomes marred with cuts after long use
  • 6 dissection wells to organize and prepare specimens, and keep them wet
  • 12 capsule wells and screen storage in back holds 12 capsules until used
  • 24 capsule wells (12 per side) to hold mPrep/s capsules after loading with specimens and to keep them wet. Spaced for direct attachment of capsules onto 8 and 12-channel pipettors
  • Rounded front edge provides comfortable use
  • Feet adjust to change height. Adjust for comfort and to straddle many dissecting microscope bases
  • Precision mechanism is fully adjustable.

Using the mPrep Workstation

summary-of-use-01
summary-of-use-02
summary-of-use-04

Prepare the specimen

  • Trim and dissect on Workstation surface
  • Use shallow wells to keep specimens organized
  • Add water or fixative to wells during dissection

Load screen (and unoriented specimens)

  • Insert mPrep/s screen into Workstation insertion tool
  • Engage screen tabs into insertion tool flanges

Orient specimen – Back Pinch Method

  • Press Workstation lever to open screen
  • Place back end of specimen into screen opening
  • Release lever to pinch specimen
summary-of-use-05
summary-of-use-06
summary-of-use-07

Encapsulate specimen

  • Slide capsule down to hold specimen in place
  • For Back Pinch Orientation method leave space above specimen

Remove capsule from Workstation

  • Rotate capsule counter-clockwise to disengage screen from Workstation insertion tool
  • Lift capsule off Workstation

Set aside encapsulated specimen

  • Place capsule into a Workstation well
  • Add fluids to wells to keep specimens wet
  • Load capsules directly onto pipettor for reagent processing

Application Notes

This application note illustrates mammalian kidney tissue prep for TEM from fixation through embedding. This general protocol applies to other specimens that require embedding for cross-sectioning. Photos show the mPrep capsule reagent exchange process and how mPrep TEM blocks are faced and sectioned while still in capsules. Supplies and the reagent formulae are listed.

This application note illustrates the preparation of polymer specimens for cross-sectional analysis. Polymer drug delivery particles were embedded and cross-sectioned for transmission FTIR spectroscopy and EDS-SEM. The application note also shows how to extend these methods to the preparation of other soft materials including coatings, thin films and fibers.

This application note presents a fast, fully-automated method of tissue processing. Mammalian kidney was prepared for TEM with the mPrep ASP-1000 programmed for highly efficient rapid-agitation. Reagent processing from postfix rinse through 100% resin infiltration was accomplished in just 45 minutes.

This application note presents a method for processing mammalian muscle tissue for TEM in just over two hours. Using the ASP-1000 automated specimen processor, specimens were processed from postfixation rinse through infiltration in just 133 minutes. Specimens were handled only once, when they were oriented and inserted into mPrep/s capsules using the mPrep/s Workstation.

This application note demonstrates the reproducibility of rapid processing with the ASP-1000. Twenty-four (24) specimens from the same aldehyde perfusion fixed liver were prepared for TEM. Specimens were directly handled only once, when they were orientated in mPrep/s capsules. Automated processing required only 133 minutes from post-fix rinse through osmium fixation and 100% resin infiltration. All 24 samples showed well-preserved ultrastructure homogeneity as verified by TEM imaging.

This application note demonstrates using agar embedding of suspended cells to enable rapid automated preparation with the ASP-1000 Automated processor to fix, post-fix and embed cells in epoxy for TEM.  The example uses yeast, but this method can be readily extended to the preparation of other types of cells in suspension, and for the preparation of other small specimens. By combining agar embedment with ASP-1000 processing, 18 centrifugation and resuspension cycles were eliminated from a typical manual protocol. Once the cells were agar embedded, the total processing time prior to epoxy resin curing was just 1.5 hours.


mPrep workstation applications

Serial Block Face SEMSystem componentsResourcesPurchase The mPrep ASP-1000 streamlines the specimen workflow for serial block face 3D SEM (SBEM). Problems Tissue prep for SBEM is intensely manual, using noxious reagents for fixation, heavy metal staining, and resin embedding. Many SBEM protocols require most of a week to prepare samples, requiring several days of technician time.  Other 3DEM methods including focused ion beam (FIB-SEM) and array tomography use the same or similar protocols: Manual reagent processing requires many days of effort Specimen preparation can require up to a week Difficult to achieve uniform processing times across multiple samples Considerable handling of toxic, noxious, and reactive reagents Extensive set up and clean up Specimens may float in vials, reducing preparation quality.   mPrep ASP-1000 Solutions Walk-away automated processing frees technicians from days of babysitting reagent exchanges Faster preparation. Automated reagent processing can be achieved in just one day Simultaneous “robotic” processing assures identical process timing Less handling of noxious reagents during setup and integrated fume enclosure reduces exposure during processing Setup and cleanup are fast Entrapped specimens in mPrep/s capsules will not float. Brain Cortex (SBEM) Heart right ventricle (SBEM) Required mPrep ASP-1000 – Automated Specimen Processor  Provides walk-away and rapid reagent processing mPrep/s capsules to hold specimens An insertion tool is required to insert, remove and adjust the mPrep/s screen. There are two options:  mPrep/s Insertion tool  mPrep/s Workstation (w/integrated insertion tool): faciliates loading and orienting specimens in mPrep/s capsules mPrep/f couplers to prevent introducing noxious reagents into the mPrep ASP-1000 mPrep/bench to seal capsule bottoms during resin curing Recommended Microwell plates These hold reagents on the ASP-1000 deck. Product Descriptions ASP-1000 Brochure Publications Goodman SL, Campbell JM, Wu K, Bouchet-Marquis C, Braun RK, Eldridge M, Goss KN (2019) Effects of Postnatal Hyperoxia Exposure on Cardiac Muscle Examined with 3D Serial Block Face SEM using Rapid Automated Sample Preparation. Microsc. Microanal. 2019, PDP-46. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin used serial block face SEM (SBEM) to examine the effects of postnatal hyperoxia on right ventricle heart muscle with a rat pup model for premature infants who require high oxygen level incubators. 3DEM showed altered muscle and mitochondrial morphology compared to controls. These results provide insight into the reduced aerobic capacity and pulmonary disease of neonates who spent time in hyperoxic incubators. The morphological difference were clearly observed and quantified with 3D SBEM analyses. The SBEM specimens were automatically prepared using the mPrep ASP-1000 in just one working day. Postnatal Hyperoxia Exposure on Cardiac Muscle Examined with 3D Serial Block Face SEM using Rapid Automated Sample Preparation – Abstract + Presented Poster Goodman SL, Benson EK, Campbell JM Kidd GJ (2019) Rapid Automated Preparation for Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy. Microsc. Microanal. 25 (Suppl 2), 2019: 1182. doi:10.1017/S1431927619006640 This proceedings paper demonstrates rapid preparation of brain and liver for serial block face SEM (SBEM) using the ASP-1000. The study compared a standard week-long manual method requiring several days of manual reagent exchanges and multiple overnight steps to automated processing with the ASP-1000. The ASP prepared the specimens in just one working day followed by overnight resin curing, while requiring only about 1 hour for setup and cleanup. Both methods provided high-quality specimens with good staining, sectioning and other necessary imaging properties. The authors conclude, “The ASP provided quality preparation in much less time with much less effort.” Rapid Automated Preparation for Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy – Microsc-Microanal-25-2019_Abstract + Poster McClain M, Harwood M, NowotarskiS (2019) Automated Heavy Metal Tissue Staining for Serial Block Face Imaging with the ASP-1000. Microsc. Microanal. 2019, PDP-52. Researchers from the Stowers Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute developed a method for the automated preparation of serial block face specimens of S. mediterranea (a flatworm) using an ASP-1000 equipped with a temperature controlled reagent stage. They report, “By moving the sample processing protocol to an automated platform, we have shortened the overall processing time by two days. We have traded almost five days of specialist time manually pipetting at the bench for one half day of plate preparation and sample loading, enabling specialists to concentrate on other tasks while the robot works at all hours of the day.” Automated Heavy Metal Tissue Staining for Serial Block Face Imaging with the ASP-1000 – Micro-Microanal-25-2019-PDP-52_Abstract Product Descriptions ASP-1000 Brochure mPrep specimen products mPrep/s™ Capsule Pack 8 capsules, 12 screens, storage box, labels Product SKU: 22200 $48.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Capsules – 96 count 96 capsules, screens & blank label sets Product SKU: 22500 $576.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Insertion Tool Inserts, removes and adjusts screens in mPrep/s capsules Product SKU: 32010 $25.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Workstation Prepare specimens and insert into mPrep/s capsules with or without orientation using integrated screen insertion tool Product SKU: 42100 $950.00 Add to cart mPrep/Bench™ model 96s 96-well silicone rack for mPrep capsules Product SKU: 34000 $45.00 Add to cart mPrep/f 30 Standard Filter Coupler™ 16 couplers Product SKU: 31500 $48.00 Add to cart mPrep/f 13 Extreme Filter Coupler™ 16 couplers Product SKU: 31600 $48.00 Add to cart mPrep™ CPD Holder Holds up to 6 mPrep/s or mPrep/g capsules in Tousimis® CPD apparatus Product SKU: 33010 $225.00 Add to cart ASP-1000 mPrep Automatic Specimen Processor Programable specimen and grid preparation.     Request a Quotation Product SKU: ASP1000 Add to cart Reagent Reservoirs Chemically resistant 15ml reservoirs, 50 per pack Product SKU: 52001 $22.00 Add to cart Microwell Plates Chemically resistant 96-well plates, 10 per pack Product SKU: 51001 $39.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Pipettor Kit eight-channel eight-channel pipettor, mPrep/s capsule pack, 96 pipette tips Product SKU: 43250 $686.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Pipettor Kit single-channel single-channel pipettor, mPrep/s capsule pack, 96 pipette tips Product SKU: 43150 $366.00 Add to cart

Tissue processing and orienting specimens for sectioning is time consuming. mPrep/s capsules accurately orient specimens in seconds using the mPrep Workstation. Capsules used with pipettors enable simultaneous and controlled reagent processing.

Processing tissue for SEM can be tedious. There is potential for specimen damage due to contact with labware and critical point dryers. Orienting and mounting brittle CPD prepared tissues is challenging. With mPrep/s capsules specimens are protected and can be oriented prior to CPD processing.

Multiple cryogenic manipulations are required to rapidly freeze and orient tissue specimens for cryo-facing and SEM. With mPrep/s capsules, tissue samples are oriented prior to freezing and secured in the capsule through cryo-facing and SEM mounting.

Embedding and orienting polymers for cross sectioning is challenging: Particles are difficult to entrap and orienting fibers and films is time consuming. With mPrep/s capsules particles are easily entrapped, and fibers or films are oriented in seconds using the mPrep Workstation. Once loaded in mPrep/s capsules, multiple specimens can be simultaneously embedded.

Publications

Goodman SL, Benson EK, Campbell JM Kidd GJ (2019) Rapid Automated Preparation for Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy. Microsc. Microanal. 25 (Suppl 2), 2019: 1182. doi:10.1017/S1431927619006640

This proceedings paper demonstrates rapid preparation of brain and liver for serial block face SEM (SBEM) using the ASP-1000. The study compared a standard week-long manual method requiring several days of manual reagent exchanges and multiple overnight steps to automated processing with the ASP-1000. The ASP prepared the specimens in just one working day followed by overnight resin curing, while requiring only about 1 hour for setup and cleanup. Both methods provided high-quality specimens with good staining, sectioning and other necessary imaging properties. The authors conclude, "The ASP provided quality preparation in much less time with much less effort.”

Goodman SL, Campbell JM, Wu K, Bouchet-Marquis C, Braun RK, Eldridge M, Goss KN (2019) Effects of Postnatal Hyperoxia Exposure on Cardiac Muscle Examined with 3D Serial Block Face SEM using Rapid Automated Sample Preparation. Microsc. Microanal. 2019, PDP-46.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin used serial block face SEM (SBEM) to examine the effects of postnatal hyperoxia on right ventricle heart muscle with a rat pup model for premature infants who require high oxygen level incubators. 3DEM showed altered muscle and mitochondrial morphology compared to controls. These results provide insight into the reduced aerobic capacity and pulmonary disease of neonates who spent time in hyperoxic incubators. The morphological difference were clearly observed and quantified with 3D SBEM analyses. The SBEM specimens were automatically prepared using the mPrep ASP-1000 in just one working day.

Strader TE,  August BK (2019) Automated Preparation of Core Needle Biopsy Specimens for TEM Imaging. Microsc. Microanal. 25 (Suppl 2), 2019: 1184. doi:10.1017/S1431927619006652 

This proceedings paper from the University of Wisconsin and Microscopy Innovations demonstrates the rapid preparation of core needle renal biopsies for TEM pathology. Karnovsky-fixed 18-gauge needle biopsies were enrobed in low melting point agar and then loaded into mPrep/s capsules and prepared for TEM using the ASP-1000 with standard chemistries plus en bloc uranyl acid staining. Specimens were automatically processed in two hours prior to overnight epoxy resin curing. The en bloc stained specimens were then imaged without post sectioning staining.

Plumley WC, Kostrna M, Goodman SL (2019) Cryo-Planing Biological Specimens for Scanning Electron Microscopy. Microscopy Today, 27 (2): 20-25. doi:10.1017/S1551929518001451

Cryo-planing (also called cryo-facing) provides a unique 3D view of internal and surface features by cutting a cross-section through frozen tissue or frozen material specimens. Using an mPrep Workstation and mPrep/s capsules, plant and animal tissues were cryo-planed with an ordinary cryo-ultramicrotome, thus using common equipment to provide facile control of the cross-section location. mPrep/s capsules held and oriented specimens throughout all protocol steps: rapid freezing, cryo-planing, freeze-drying, mounting on stubs, conductive coating, and room temperature SEM imaging. This required no custom apparatus or expensive cryo-SEM instrumentation. However, the specimen handling method could be adapted for cryo-transfer and cryo-SEM imaging.

Marques N, Strong J, Strader T, Hsia R-C (2018) Optimization of Automated Immuno EM for Both Pre- and Post-Embedding Labeling. Microsc. Microanal. 24 (Suppl 1), 2018: 1300. doi:10.1017/S1431927618006980

This proceedings paper and poster presents optimized protocols for ASP-1000 automation of immuno-labeling on grids and for en bloc tissues (pre-embedding). On-grid immuno-labeling is shown with sectioned brain, sectioned HeLa cells, and whole-mount bacteria. En bloc tissue immuno-labeling is shown with mouse brain that is also silver enhanced and then resin embedded using the ASP-1000. The authors discuss how automated labeling fits into the lab workflow by providing a “drastic reduction of hands-on time” from several days to 1-2 hours, by enabling overnight processing, and by eliminating manual specimen and grid transfers that can cause sample damage. Also discussed is that automation increased reproducibility and consistently lowered background labeling noise.

Strader TE, Stewart NR, August BK, Goodman SL (2018) Automated Rapid Preparation of Tissue Specimens for TEM Pathology. Microsc. Microanal. 24 (Suppl 1), 201:1284. doi:10.1017/S1431927618006906

This proceedings paper and presented poster shows how the ASP-1000 can accelerate the preparation of TEM pathology tissue specimens from 1-2 days to several hours with conventional chemical reagents. The poster provides automation protocols for the ASP-1000 that accelerate diffusion of processing reagents into specimens by directed fluid flow that is repeated as often as 600 times in just 5 minutes. Examples are provided for multiple tissues including kidney, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, liver and brain. The poster also addresses how the automated preparation and mPrep/s specimen capsules and Workstation provide an efficient workflow from specimen acquisition through microtomy that also provides traceability.

Tetri LJ, Diffee GM, Barton GP, Braun RK, Yoder HE, Haraldsdottir K, Eldridge MW, Goss KN (2018) Sex-Specific Skeletal Muscle Fatigability and Decreased Mitochondrial Oxidative Capacity in Adult Rats Exposed to Postnatal Hyperoxia. Front. Physiol. 9. 326. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00326

This work used the mPrep ASP-1000 and mPrep/s capsules to prepare rat gastrocnemius muscle for TEM in order to examine mitochondrial ultrastructure in a study that examines postnatal hyperoxia as a model for premature birth effects on aerobic capacity.

Stewart NR, August BK, Strader TE, Goodman SL (2017) Fast, Walk-away, Automated Processing of Mammalian Tissue for LM and TEM. Microsc. Microanal. PDP-52

Stewart and coauthors demonstrate the automated preparation of kidney, liver, skeletal and cardiac muscle using the mPrep ASP-1000. Reagent processing of kidney was completed in just 45 minutes and liver and muscle in only 2 hours, prior to resin curing. The method provided easy non-messy specimen orientation prior to resin infiltration, and specimens that were only directly handled once - when they were oriented and inserted into labeled mPrep/s capsules.

Stewart NR, August BK, Strader TE, Goodman SL (2017) Preparing LR White Embedded Tissue with mPrep/s Specimen Capsules. Microsc. Microanal. PDP-56

Stewart et al. provides a method for the easy embedding of tissue in LR White resin for TEM immuno-labeling and related applications. The method enables the reliable location of non-osmium treated tissue after embedding, non-messy specimen orientation prior to resin infiltration, minimal specimen handling, and automated reagent processing with the ASP-1000 in less than 45 minutes prior to resin curing.


Videos

Using the mPrep Workstation for Oriented and Unoriented Specimens

The tutorial starts by introducing the mPrep Workstation. Then it demonstrates how to load and orient specimens into mPrep capsules. Three methods are shown: pinch, compression and cup.

5 minutes 19 seconds

Webinar: TEM & SEM Sample Preparation with mPrep Capsules

This webinar introduces and demonstrates the mPrep System.  Webinar covers how the mPrep System works. It discusses the benefits of the mPrep System over current practice. And it addresses multiple TEM and SEM applications: tissues,  macromolecules, immuno, nanoparticles, cryo-planing.
45 minutes


Instructions

How to use the mPrep CPD holder for specimen and grid sample preparation using the critical point method.

Instructions for using mPrep/s capsules for specimen handling and processing.

A single page graphical display of the three steps to orient and load specimens into mPrep/s capsules. Both compression and pinch methods are shown. Use this guide as a lab reference poster.


mPrep/s workstation products

mPrep/s™ Capsule Pack

8 capsules, 12 screens, storage box, labels

Product SKU: 22200

$48.00

mPrep/s™ Capsules – 96 count

96 capsules, screens & blank label sets

Product SKU: 22500

$576.00

mPrep/s™ Workstation

Prepare specimens and insert into mPrep/s capsules with or without orientation using integrated screen insertion tool

Product SKU: 42100

$950.00

mPrep/f 30 Standard Filter Coupler™

16 couplers

Product SKU: 31500

$48.00

For a complete listing of mPrep products, click Purchase.

mPrep Workstation product info

Product Description

  • Durable, corrosion-resistant materials for long service with saline, buffers and aldehyde fixatives. Can be fully immersed for cleaning.  Safe cleaning with detergents, bleach and alcohol
  • Top cutting surface is:
    • Soft high density polyethylene (HDPE) that minimizes dulling of fine dissection tools
    • Low glare and lightly textured surface for optimal visibility and easy specimen handling
    • Top is easily replaced if it becomes marred with cuts after long use
  • 6 dissection wells to organize and prepare specimens, and keep them wet
  • 12 capsule wells and screen storage in back holds 12 capsules until used
  • 24 capsule wells (12 per side) to hold mPrep/s capsules after loading with specimens and to keep them wet. Spaced for direct attachment of capsules onto 8 and 12-channel pipettors
  • Rounded front edge provides comfortable use
  • Feet adjust to change height. Adjust for comfort and to straddle many dissecting microscope bases
  • Precision mechanism is fully adjustable.

Using the mPrep Workstation

summary-of-use-01
summary-of-use-02
summary-of-use-04

Prepare the specimen

  • Trim and dissect on Workstation surface
  • Use shallow wells to keep specimens organized
  • Add water or fixative to wells during dissection

Load screen (and unoriented specimens)

  • Insert mPrep/s screen into Workstation insertion tool
  • Engage screen tabs into insertion tool flanges

Orient specimen – Back Pinch Method

  • Press Workstation lever to open screen
  • Place back end of specimen into screen opening
  • Release lever to pinch specimen
summary-of-use-05
summary-of-use-06
summary-of-use-07

Encapsulate specimen

  • Slide capsule down to hold specimen in place
  • For Back Pinch Orientation method leave space above specimen

Remove capsule from Workstation

  • Rotate capsule counter-clockwise to disengage screen from Workstation insertion tool
  • Lift capsule off Workstation

Set aside encapsulated specimen

  • Place capsule into a Workstation well
  • Add fluids to wells to keep specimens wet
  • Load capsules directly onto pipettor for reagent processing
Applications

Application Notes

This application note illustrates mammalian kidney tissue prep for TEM from fixation through embedding. This general protocol applies to other specimens that require embedding for cross-sectioning. Photos show the mPrep capsule reagent exchange process and how mPrep TEM blocks are faced and sectioned while still in capsules. Supplies and the reagent formulae are listed.

This application note illustrates the preparation of polymer specimens for cross-sectional analysis. Polymer drug delivery particles were embedded and cross-sectioned for transmission FTIR spectroscopy and EDS-SEM. The application note also shows how to extend these methods to the preparation of other soft materials including coatings, thin films and fibers.

This application note presents a fast, fully-automated method of tissue processing. Mammalian kidney was prepared for TEM with the mPrep ASP-1000 programmed for highly efficient rapid-agitation. Reagent processing from postfix rinse through 100% resin infiltration was accomplished in just 45 minutes.

This application note presents a method for processing mammalian muscle tissue for TEM in just over two hours. Using the ASP-1000 automated specimen processor, specimens were processed from postfixation rinse through infiltration in just 133 minutes. Specimens were handled only once, when they were oriented and inserted into mPrep/s capsules using the mPrep/s Workstation.

This application note demonstrates the reproducibility of rapid processing with the ASP-1000. Twenty-four (24) specimens from the same aldehyde perfusion fixed liver were prepared for TEM. Specimens were directly handled only once, when they were orientated in mPrep/s capsules. Automated processing required only 133 minutes from post-fix rinse through osmium fixation and 100% resin infiltration. All 24 samples showed well-preserved ultrastructure homogeneity as verified by TEM imaging.

This application note demonstrates using agar embedding of suspended cells to enable rapid automated preparation with the ASP-1000 Automated processor to fix, post-fix and embed cells in epoxy for TEM.  The example uses yeast, but this method can be readily extended to the preparation of other types of cells in suspension, and for the preparation of other small specimens. By combining agar embedment with ASP-1000 processing, 18 centrifugation and resuspension cycles were eliminated from a typical manual protocol. Once the cells were agar embedded, the total processing time prior to epoxy resin curing was just 1.5 hours.


mPrep workstation applications

Serial Block Face SEMSystem componentsResourcesPurchase The mPrep ASP-1000 streamlines the specimen workflow for serial block face 3D SEM (SBEM). Problems Tissue prep for SBEM is intensely manual, using noxious reagents for fixation, heavy metal staining, and resin embedding. Many SBEM protocols require most of a week to prepare samples, requiring several days of technician time.  Other 3DEM methods including focused ion beam (FIB-SEM) and array tomography use the same or similar protocols: Manual reagent processing requires many days of effort Specimen preparation can require up to a week Difficult to achieve uniform processing times across multiple samples Considerable handling of toxic, noxious, and reactive reagents Extensive set up and clean up Specimens may float in vials, reducing preparation quality.   mPrep ASP-1000 Solutions Walk-away automated processing frees technicians from days of babysitting reagent exchanges Faster preparation. Automated reagent processing can be achieved in just one day Simultaneous “robotic” processing assures identical process timing Less handling of noxious reagents during setup and integrated fume enclosure reduces exposure during processing Setup and cleanup are fast Entrapped specimens in mPrep/s capsules will not float. Brain Cortex (SBEM) Heart right ventricle (SBEM) Required mPrep ASP-1000 – Automated Specimen Processor  Provides walk-away and rapid reagent processing mPrep/s capsules to hold specimens An insertion tool is required to insert, remove and adjust the mPrep/s screen. There are two options:  mPrep/s Insertion tool  mPrep/s Workstation (w/integrated insertion tool): faciliates loading and orienting specimens in mPrep/s capsules mPrep/f couplers to prevent introducing noxious reagents into the mPrep ASP-1000 mPrep/bench to seal capsule bottoms during resin curing Recommended Microwell plates These hold reagents on the ASP-1000 deck. Product Descriptions ASP-1000 Brochure Publications Goodman SL, Campbell JM, Wu K, Bouchet-Marquis C, Braun RK, Eldridge M, Goss KN (2019) Effects of Postnatal Hyperoxia Exposure on Cardiac Muscle Examined with 3D Serial Block Face SEM using Rapid Automated Sample Preparation. Microsc. Microanal. 2019, PDP-46. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin used serial block face SEM (SBEM) to examine the effects of postnatal hyperoxia on right ventricle heart muscle with a rat pup model for premature infants who require high oxygen level incubators. 3DEM showed altered muscle and mitochondrial morphology compared to controls. These results provide insight into the reduced aerobic capacity and pulmonary disease of neonates who spent time in hyperoxic incubators. The morphological difference were clearly observed and quantified with 3D SBEM analyses. The SBEM specimens were automatically prepared using the mPrep ASP-1000 in just one working day. Postnatal Hyperoxia Exposure on Cardiac Muscle Examined with 3D Serial Block Face SEM using Rapid Automated Sample Preparation – Abstract + Presented Poster Goodman SL, Benson EK, Campbell JM Kidd GJ (2019) Rapid Automated Preparation for Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy. Microsc. Microanal. 25 (Suppl 2), 2019: 1182. doi:10.1017/S1431927619006640 This proceedings paper demonstrates rapid preparation of brain and liver for serial block face SEM (SBEM) using the ASP-1000. The study compared a standard week-long manual method requiring several days of manual reagent exchanges and multiple overnight steps to automated processing with the ASP-1000. The ASP prepared the specimens in just one working day followed by overnight resin curing, while requiring only about 1 hour for setup and cleanup. Both methods provided high-quality specimens with good staining, sectioning and other necessary imaging properties. The authors conclude, “The ASP provided quality preparation in much less time with much less effort.” Rapid Automated Preparation for Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy – Microsc-Microanal-25-2019_Abstract + Poster McClain M, Harwood M, NowotarskiS (2019) Automated Heavy Metal Tissue Staining for Serial Block Face Imaging with the ASP-1000. Microsc. Microanal. 2019, PDP-52. Researchers from the Stowers Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute developed a method for the automated preparation of serial block face specimens of S. mediterranea (a flatworm) using an ASP-1000 equipped with a temperature controlled reagent stage. They report, “By moving the sample processing protocol to an automated platform, we have shortened the overall processing time by two days. We have traded almost five days of specialist time manually pipetting at the bench for one half day of plate preparation and sample loading, enabling specialists to concentrate on other tasks while the robot works at all hours of the day.” Automated Heavy Metal Tissue Staining for Serial Block Face Imaging with the ASP-1000 – Micro-Microanal-25-2019-PDP-52_Abstract Product Descriptions ASP-1000 Brochure mPrep specimen products mPrep/s™ Capsule Pack 8 capsules, 12 screens, storage box, labels Product SKU: 22200 $48.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Capsules – 96 count 96 capsules, screens & blank label sets Product SKU: 22500 $576.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Insertion Tool Inserts, removes and adjusts screens in mPrep/s capsules Product SKU: 32010 $25.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Workstation Prepare specimens and insert into mPrep/s capsules with or without orientation using integrated screen insertion tool Product SKU: 42100 $950.00 Add to cart mPrep/Bench™ model 96s 96-well silicone rack for mPrep capsules Product SKU: 34000 $45.00 Add to cart mPrep/f 30 Standard Filter Coupler™ 16 couplers Product SKU: 31500 $48.00 Add to cart mPrep/f 13 Extreme Filter Coupler™ 16 couplers Product SKU: 31600 $48.00 Add to cart mPrep™ CPD Holder Holds up to 6 mPrep/s or mPrep/g capsules in Tousimis® CPD apparatus Product SKU: 33010 $225.00 Add to cart ASP-1000 mPrep Automatic Specimen Processor Programable specimen and grid preparation.     Request a Quotation Product SKU: ASP1000 Add to cart Reagent Reservoirs Chemically resistant 15ml reservoirs, 50 per pack Product SKU: 52001 $22.00 Add to cart Microwell Plates Chemically resistant 96-well plates, 10 per pack Product SKU: 51001 $39.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Pipettor Kit eight-channel eight-channel pipettor, mPrep/s capsule pack, 96 pipette tips Product SKU: 43250 $686.00 Add to cart mPrep/s™ Pipettor Kit single-channel single-channel pipettor, mPrep/s capsule pack, 96 pipette tips Product SKU: 43150 $366.00 Add to cart

Tissue processing and orienting specimens for sectioning is time consuming. mPrep/s capsules accurately orient specimens in seconds using the mPrep Workstation. Capsules used with pipettors enable simultaneous and controlled reagent processing.

Processing tissue for SEM can be tedious. There is potential for specimen damage due to contact with labware and critical point dryers. Orienting and mounting brittle CPD prepared tissues is challenging. With mPrep/s capsules specimens are protected and can be oriented prior to CPD processing.

Multiple cryogenic manipulations are required to rapidly freeze and orient tissue specimens for cryo-facing and SEM. With mPrep/s capsules, tissue samples are oriented prior to freezing and secured in the capsule through cryo-facing and SEM mounting.

Embedding and orienting polymers for cross sectioning is challenging: Particles are difficult to entrap and orienting fibers and films is time consuming. With mPrep/s capsules particles are easily entrapped, and fibers or films are oriented in seconds using the mPrep Workstation. Once loaded in mPrep/s capsules, multiple specimens can be simultaneously embedded.

Resources

Publications

Goodman SL, Benson EK, Campbell JM Kidd GJ (2019) Rapid Automated Preparation for Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy. Microsc. Microanal. 25 (Suppl 2), 2019: 1182. doi:10.1017/S1431927619006640

This proceedings paper demonstrates rapid preparation of brain and liver for serial block face SEM (SBEM) using the ASP-1000. The study compared a standard week-long manual method requiring several days of manual reagent exchanges and multiple overnight steps to automated processing with the ASP-1000. The ASP prepared the specimens in just one working day followed by overnight resin curing, while requiring only about 1 hour for setup and cleanup. Both methods provided high-quality specimens with good staining, sectioning and other necessary imaging properties. The authors conclude, "The ASP provided quality preparation in much less time with much less effort.”

Goodman SL, Campbell JM, Wu K, Bouchet-Marquis C, Braun RK, Eldridge M, Goss KN (2019) Effects of Postnatal Hyperoxia Exposure on Cardiac Muscle Examined with 3D Serial Block Face SEM using Rapid Automated Sample Preparation. Microsc. Microanal. 2019, PDP-46.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin used serial block face SEM (SBEM) to examine the effects of postnatal hyperoxia on right ventricle heart muscle with a rat pup model for premature infants who require high oxygen level incubators. 3DEM showed altered muscle and mitochondrial morphology compared to controls. These results provide insight into the reduced aerobic capacity and pulmonary disease of neonates who spent time in hyperoxic incubators. The morphological difference were clearly observed and quantified with 3D SBEM analyses. The SBEM specimens were automatically prepared using the mPrep ASP-1000 in just one working day.

Strader TE,  August BK (2019) Automated Preparation of Core Needle Biopsy Specimens for TEM Imaging. Microsc. Microanal. 25 (Suppl 2), 2019: 1184. doi:10.1017/S1431927619006652 

This proceedings paper from the University of Wisconsin and Microscopy Innovations demonstrates the rapid preparation of core needle renal biopsies for TEM pathology. Karnovsky-fixed 18-gauge needle biopsies were enrobed in low melting point agar and then loaded into mPrep/s capsules and prepared for TEM using the ASP-1000 with standard chemistries plus en bloc uranyl acid staining. Specimens were automatically processed in two hours prior to overnight epoxy resin curing. The en bloc stained specimens were then imaged without post sectioning staining.

Plumley WC, Kostrna M, Goodman SL (2019) Cryo-Planing Biological Specimens for Scanning Electron Microscopy. Microscopy Today, 27 (2): 20-25. doi:10.1017/S1551929518001451

Cryo-planing (also called cryo-facing) provides a unique 3D view of internal and surface features by cutting a cross-section through frozen tissue or frozen material specimens. Using an mPrep Workstation and mPrep/s capsules, plant and animal tissues were cryo-planed with an ordinary cryo-ultramicrotome, thus using common equipment to provide facile control of the cross-section location. mPrep/s capsules held and oriented specimens throughout all protocol steps: rapid freezing, cryo-planing, freeze-drying, mounting on stubs, conductive coating, and room temperature SEM imaging. This required no custom apparatus or expensive cryo-SEM instrumentation. However, the specimen handling method could be adapted for cryo-transfer and cryo-SEM imaging.

Marques N, Strong J, Strader T, Hsia R-C (2018) Optimization of Automated Immuno EM for Both Pre- and Post-Embedding Labeling. Microsc. Microanal. 24 (Suppl 1), 2018: 1300. doi:10.1017/S1431927618006980

This proceedings paper and poster presents optimized protocols for ASP-1000 automation of immuno-labeling on grids and for en bloc tissues (pre-embedding). On-grid immuno-labeling is shown with sectioned brain, sectioned HeLa cells, and whole-mount bacteria. En bloc tissue immuno-labeling is shown with mouse brain that is also silver enhanced and then resin embedded using the ASP-1000. The authors discuss how automated labeling fits into the lab workflow by providing a “drastic reduction of hands-on time” from several days to 1-2 hours, by enabling overnight processing, and by eliminating manual specimen and grid transfers that can cause sample damage. Also discussed is that automation increased reproducibility and consistently lowered background labeling noise.

Strader TE, Stewart NR, August BK, Goodman SL (2018) Automated Rapid Preparation of Tissue Specimens for TEM Pathology. Microsc. Microanal. 24 (Suppl 1), 201:1284. doi:10.1017/S1431927618006906

This proceedings paper and presented poster shows how the ASP-1000 can accelerate the preparation of TEM pathology tissue specimens from 1-2 days to several hours with conventional chemical reagents. The poster provides automation protocols for the ASP-1000 that accelerate diffusion of processing reagents into specimens by directed fluid flow that is repeated as often as 600 times in just 5 minutes. Examples are provided for multiple tissues including kidney, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, liver and brain. The poster also addresses how the automated preparation and mPrep/s specimen capsules and Workstation provide an efficient workflow from specimen acquisition through microtomy that also provides traceability.

Tetri LJ, Diffee GM, Barton GP, Braun RK, Yoder HE, Haraldsdottir K, Eldridge MW, Goss KN (2018) Sex-Specific Skeletal Muscle Fatigability and Decreased Mitochondrial Oxidative Capacity in Adult Rats Exposed to Postnatal Hyperoxia. Front. Physiol. 9. 326. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00326

This work used the mPrep ASP-1000 and mPrep/s capsules to prepare rat gastrocnemius muscle for TEM in order to examine mitochondrial ultrastructure in a study that examines postnatal hyperoxia as a model for premature birth effects on aerobic capacity.

Stewart NR, August BK, Strader TE, Goodman SL (2017) Fast, Walk-away, Automated Processing of Mammalian Tissue for LM and TEM. Microsc. Microanal. PDP-52

Stewart and coauthors demonstrate the automated preparation of kidney, liver, skeletal and cardiac muscle using the mPrep ASP-1000. Reagent processing of kidney was completed in just 45 minutes and liver and muscle in only 2 hours, prior to resin curing. The method provided easy non-messy specimen orientation prior to resin infiltration, and specimens that were only directly handled once - when they were oriented and inserted into labeled mPrep/s capsules.

Stewart NR, August BK, Strader TE, Goodman SL (2017) Preparing LR White Embedded Tissue with mPrep/s Specimen Capsules. Microsc. Microanal. PDP-56

Stewart et al. provides a method for the easy embedding of tissue in LR White resin for TEM immuno-labeling and related applications. The method enables the reliable location of non-osmium treated tissue after embedding, non-messy specimen orientation prior to resin infiltration, minimal specimen handling, and automated reagent processing with the ASP-1000 in less than 45 minutes prior to resin curing.


Videos

Using the mPrep Workstation for Oriented and Unoriented Specimens

The tutorial starts by introducing the mPrep Workstation. Then it demonstrates how to load and orient specimens into mPrep capsules. Three methods are shown: pinch, compression and cup.

5 minutes 19 seconds

Webinar: TEM & SEM Sample Preparation with mPrep Capsules

This webinar introduces and demonstrates the mPrep System.  Webinar covers how the mPrep System works. It discusses the benefits of the mPrep System over current practice. And it addresses multiple TEM and SEM applications: tissues,  macromolecules, immuno, nanoparticles, cryo-planing.
45 minutes


Instructions

How to use the mPrep CPD holder for specimen and grid sample preparation using the critical point method.

Instructions for using mPrep/s capsules for specimen handling and processing.

A single page graphical display of the three steps to orient and load specimens into mPrep/s capsules. Both compression and pinch methods are shown. Use this guide as a lab reference poster.


Purchase

mPrep/s workstation products

mPrep/s™ Capsule Pack

8 capsules, 12 screens, storage box, labels

Product SKU: 22200

$48.00

mPrep/s™ Capsules – 96 count

96 capsules, screens & blank label sets

Product SKU: 22500

$576.00

mPrep/s™ Workstation

Prepare specimens and insert into mPrep/s capsules with or without orientation using integrated screen insertion tool

Product SKU: 42100

$950.00

mPrep/f 30 Standard Filter Coupler™

16 couplers

Product SKU: 31500

$48.00

For a complete listing of mPrep products, click Purchase.