MANUAL VS AUTOMATIC MICROTOMY

The battle between, manual and automatic still remains a great argument and topic for discussion. However, for pathologists, the advancements of automation vs the trusting simplicity of manual operations have a direct impact on their day-to-day decision making, time management and process efficiency. 

With the continuous rise in demand for increased productivity, laboratories are under increasing pressure to seek solutions for quicker processing while maintaining the best quality results from their equipment and staff. 

New technology and advancements are designed to offer increased productivity benefits that are of critical importance to histology laboratories. However, technology can also contradict the many protocols established over decades of practice and application. 

For histology labs, microtomes are relatable products that support this debate whilst playing a vital part in specimen processing and patient diagnosis. The importance of understanding the benefits of both manual and automated microtomes can lead to the prevention of inaccurate misdiagnosis, loss of unique samples and patient anxiety. This also contributes to improving the process, thus increasing output and reducing the strain placed on the user. Therefore, choosing the right microtome for your lab is more pivotal than ever before. 

 

MANUAL MICROTOME

 Microtomy requires unparalleled attention to detail, limited to talented individuals trained to value the uniqueness of tissue samples. Manual processing employs visual management that can be dependent on the assurance of achieving high-quality samples. Manual operation of a rotary microtome allows for a detailed observation of every specimen. With complete control from the user, it grants the opportunity to assess the accuracy of sectioning every time the tissue surface is exposed to the blade. This micro-management process is an advocate for quality control and allows for wrinkling to be addressed in real-time. 

SLEE medical GmbH have answered the many promises made by other manufacturers to enhance the output of manual microtomes; by offering a precision micrometre feed by step motor and a 4 trimming steps function with their CUT 4062 manual microtome. 

 Manual doesn’t have to mean old fashioned. 

 Rotary microtomes remain strong contenders against motorised machines by supporting the traditional methods of hispothology, whilst focusing on adaptations that are more appealing to the needs of the user. Manual microtomes require persistent monitoring that can result in added strain to the user over long periods of time. The CUT 4062 has an ergonomically located course feed wheel and a pre-set blade angle degree that has been specifically designed based on thorough research and aims to bring greater comfort to the user and save time. 

 However, the real argument of manual vs automatic begins at “time-saving” and is one of the fundamental reasons for semi-automatic and fully automatic microtomes having been invented. But are automated processes and AI the answer to increasing productivity in a shorter amount of time?  

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AUTOMATIC MICROTOME 

 Our semi-automatic microtome CUT 5062 and fully-automatic microtome CUT 6062 are the accumulation and creation of comprehensive market research and problem-solving for histology laboratories all over the world. 

Automating the process of tissue sectioning can offer labs; quicker setup and alignment, programmable positions, faster sectioning and motorised trimming. Thus, enabling histopathologists to process more samples blocks in a reduced timeframe, resulting in quicker patient diagnosis. Time-saving, not only increases the number of samples processed, however; it also utilises the output from pathologists, allowing them to work on areas of tissue processing simultaneously. 

Automated microtomes also work as a means of quality control. Engineers and manufacturers understand the effect fatigue and human error can have on the quality of sections produced. For thicker sections and harder specimens such as cancerous tissue, calcified tissue and decalcified teeth; the motorised feed can generate the same amount of momentum every time in order to cut continuous sections of the same quality. However; with manual microtomes, maintaining the same standard of sections repeatedly is heavily reliant on the capabilities of the user. Therefore; this reduces the amount of waste produced and increases the number of sections created from one specimen. 

Arguably; despite the advantages that technology has brought to pathologists, such as data sharing, remote working, faster processes; laboratories that are primarily dependent on automatic processes, run the risk of limitation and being highly dependent on power source and training. 

The combination of high-quality engineering, ergonomic design and the advancement in functionality makes the CUT 5062 and CUT6062 one of the most efficient, user-friendly and cost-effective solutions on the market for years to come. 

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MANUAL VS AUTOMATIC 

 There is undoubtedly a wide range of benefits to automated machinery, and the advancements they offer will revolutionise the way in which scientists study tissue and adapt to the requirement of modern labs. 

However; if every laboratory operated the same, and acquired the same skill sets, we wouldn’t be privileged with the amount of new developments, diagnosis’ and treatments we have today. So many jobs are threatened with the ability of AI and robotics offers, that we could lose out on the potential of the new and unique skills someone has to offer. That is why all of our semi-automatic and fully automatic offer manual operations as we understand and value the users behind each piece of equipment. German engineered, our CUT Series microtomes acquire features across the whole range that deliver excellent user experience such as; vibration-free bases, market-leading micrometre thickness cutting, consistent performance with 5–8 year quality assurance even with intense use and little maintenance requirements. 

At Solmedia, we believe the answer to whether automatic is the way forward or whether manual is the safe and trusted solution, is entirely dependent on the individuality of the user. We value our customers’ unique requirements and therefore have a team that is specially trained and dedicated to understanding the specific needs of each laboratory and able to advise and support accordingly. We make a point to listen to each customer demands and conditions and assure to provide a custom-designed package specific to that one induvial customer. 

 

To speak to our dedicated team about which equipment is the right for your laboratory or to book a microtome demonstration, email enquiries@solmedialtd.com 

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