Insight On The Storage Time Of FFPE Blocks
FFPE blocks are used in molecular biology and genetics for DNA sequencing. However, there is a tradeoff between the quality of the sequence data and the amount of time that it takes to generate. An important factor to consider when using FFPE blocks as a sequencing method is how much storage time you want your sequences to take. In this blog article, you will learn about the different types of storage time available with FFPE blocks – immediate, overnight, or extended – as well as some trends in the cost of storage.
FFPE or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks are the standard methods of storing tissue. This process preserves cells through submersion in a mixture of formaldehyde and water. However, the storage time of FFPE blocks can vary depending on how quickly the cells are metabolized by enzymes in the surrounding tissues. One study found that keeping the tissue in an FFPE block for more than two years resulted in a lower viability rate than if it was stored for one year.
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After a sample has been taken, it is processed in the laboratory following which a biospecimen result is generated. This process can involve many steps including DNA extraction and PCR amplification. The end objective of these processes is to produce a single band on an agarose gel. A longer extraction time results in higher quality DNA whereas the opposite is true for shorter extraction times.
The storage time of FFPE blocks has a significant impact on the quality of pathological specimens. Long storage time can lead to increased levels of bacterial contamination and time-dependent changes in cellular morphology. It also affects the ability to identify disease markers and establish a prognosis.