Tissue MicroArrays

TACMASR works with investigators to design, construct, stain, interpret, and capture microscopic images of Tissue MicroArrays (TMAs).

Annals of Saudi Medicine 2009 - figure 3A Tissue MicroArray contains many small representative tissue samples from different cases or experiments that are assembled on a single histologic slide, and therefore allows high throughput analysis of multiple specimens at the same time. Tissue microarrays are paraffin blocks produced by extracting cylindrical tissue cores from different paraffin donor blocks and re-embedding these into a single recipient (microarray) block at defined array coordinates. It can permit simultaneous analysis of molecular targets at the DNA, mRNA, and protein levels under identical, standardized conditions on a single glass slide, and also provide maximal preservation and use of limited and irreplaceable archival tissue samples. This versatile technique, in which data analysis is automated facilitates retrospective and prospective human tissue studies. It is a practical and effective tool for high-throughput molecular analysis of tissues that is helping to identify new diagnostic and prognostic markers and targets in human cancers, and has a range of potential applications in basic research, prognostic oncology and drug discovery.(1)


The TMAs we create have cores that are 1.5 mm in diameter, with a maximum of 48 cores per paraffin block. An H&E from each donor block is examined and marked by a pathologist to select the area of interest to be sampled. The cores are arranged in the recipient block in a previously determined location in the array.  Depending on the thickness of the original sample(s) a limited number of paraffin sections can be made of the block before some or all of the cores are used up.

Histological and immunohistochemical staining procedures can be performed on sections cut from the TMA. The advantage to the user is that all the cores are stained simultaneously.

Please contact TACMASR to discuss the design and construction of TMAs.

(1) - text modified from the abstract of: Tissue Microarray: A rapidly evolving diagnostic and research tool, N.M.T. Jawhar, Ann Saudi Med. 2009 Mar-Apr; 29(2): 123–127.  Image is Figure 3 from the same article.