Fixation on Histology

Microwave Drying


Drying slides in a microwave presents itself as a faster alternative to the traditional oven, but academic literature on this approach is limited.  Though protocols and advice on the topic can be found online, this limitation should be factored into the decision to implement microwave slide drying. 

For laboratories that do use microwave slide drying, some have cited the use of a Plus slide to prevent tissue from falling off.  Other published/shared protocols share tissue volume limitations (e.g. 3 mm cubed).  In all cases, the importance of evaluating your microwaves power output is stressed.  Labs that use microwave drying are advised to contact their product vendor for protocols. 

Concerns with this method of drying, where there is little to no literature, include the process may create or tissue section damage. 

So the decision to use a microwave will depend on your willingness and need but more importantly on your lab’s comfort with the existing literature, equipment knowledge, and experience.  Below are list of online protocols and a few limited articles on the subject to help you with your decision. 



Microwave Slide Drying for Routine, Special and Immunohistochemical Staining

Drying slides by microwave (discussion from the Block, NSH members only)

Working Procedures in Microwave Histology

Hari M. Sharma, MD, FRCP(C), Ellen M. Kauffman, MT(ASCP), Violeta R. McGaughy, MS, Improved Immunoperoxidase Staining Using Microwave Slide Drying, Laboratory Medicine, Volume 21, Issue 10, 1 October 1990, Pages 658–660,

By Connie Wildeman, National Society for Histotechnology