Shipping Preparation for Cups of Free Floating Sections
From NSA to client:
Shipment of cups of free floating sections must be handled in a “very careful manner”, otherwise the sections will tear apart during transport. NSA is very experienced in this process, therefore our clients receive intact sections when we ship cups to them. The important step required for maintaining these intact sections during transport is TOPPING OFF. That is, “overfilling” of the cups with the Antigen Preserve (AP) solution so that NO air remains within the cup when the lid is secured. We check each cup after this filling by turning it upside down, observing for ANY air bubbles. If one or more air bubbles are observed we remove the lid and “overfill” again, repeating this cycle until NO air bubbles are observed when turning over the cup. We then tighten the lid more, parafilm the lid to the cup, and place in ziplock bags.
From Client to NSA or to collaborator:
Occasionally our clients return cups of unstained sections to NSA for additional staining, and/or they ship cups of sections to collaborators. It is EXTREMELY important that the precautions above be performed before these shipments. Because of the changes in temperatures from room temperature (when NSA sends the cups originally) and -20° temperatures which the sections have been stored, air bubbles are very likely to occur, even though the cups are intact since the original shipment. It is important that the client follow the instructions above to assure safe shipment. First, turn the cups upside down to observe for ANY air bubbles. If none are observed the cup is ready for transport. if, however there are ANY air bubbles, the lid must be removed, the cup must be TOPPED OFF with Phosphate-Buffered Saline (PBS) or dH2O (for the small volume that is required the AP solution isn’t required). See above for the complete description of this process.
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