Tissue Microarrays

Tissue Microarrays an Introduction :

Tissue microarrays (TMAs) are used to analyze the expression of genes simultaneously in multiple individual tissue samples on one slide. TMAs are composed of small 0.6 - 3.0 mm cores of tissue from donor tissue paraffin blocks which are arrayed at a high density on a slide.

tissue microarray

Technology Insight: identification of biomarkers with tissue microarray technology Jena M Giltnane and David L Rimm Nature Clinical Practice Oncology (2004) 1, 104-111

Tissue Microarrays have allowed tissue traditional analysis of conventional histologic paraffin blocks to become miniturized and high-throughput.

Histochemical and molecular detection techniques can be used on the TMA slides, and thus allow TMAs to be powerful tools to examine gene expression profiling in disease states across a variety of patients and disease conditions.

Tissue Microarray Contents

TMA Introduction

Characteristics of Tissue Arrays

Tissue Microarray Synthesis


Advantages of TMAs

Types of Tissue Arrays

Analysis Software

Tissue Chip References

Characteristics of Tissue Microarrays :


Tissue Microarray Synthesis :

Tissue Microarrays are produced using a microtome which sections tissue into 4 - 5 micrometer sections (see figure 1 above). These core tissue biopsy sections are taken from specific areas of interest from paraffin-embedded tissue blocks.  These cynlindrical cores of tissue are re-embedded into an arrayed blank recipient blocks. Using this method, more than 500 tissue cores can be arrayed on a single slide! The master block was developed by Konenen et al.


Applications of Tissue Microarrays :


Advantages of Tissue Arrays or Tissue Chips :


Types of Tissue Microarrays :

Cryo - Tissue Microarrays : Cryo-TMAs uses frozen tissues which are embedded in an optimal cutting temperature compound. These cryo-TMAs due to their freezing are superior to formalin fixed tissues for RNA and protein analysis. Also, antibodies work much betterl with frozen tissues.

Multi-tumours Tissue Microarrays : multi-tumour TMAs have many different types of tissues aligned on the slide. The technique was first used by Kononen et al., 1998. Kononen used this type of TMA to detect 6 gene amplifications. p53 expression was also examined in breast cancer tissue.

Progression Tissue Microarrays : This type of tissue microarray examines different stages of tumour (or disease) progression within a given organ. For example, examination of tumours in the breast. These slides can then be assayed for markers of interest, or biochemical analysis of the samples can be done.

Prognosis Tissue Microarrays : Disease samples such as tumour biopsies can be taken from patients and examined. These samples can be used for clinical follow-ups to monitor the patient's progression. Data is then analyzed and compared with other clinical data.


Tissue Microarray Software and Bioinformatics :

Software Tools for High-Throughput Analysis of Tissue Microarrays: Image Archiving and Data Analysis

Contains the following software:

TMA-Deconvoluter and Stainfinder. The deconvoluter converts raw scoring worksheets from the 3-D Tissue Microarray layout into a 2-D tabulated table format suitable for further data analysis.

Tissue Array Data Analysis : Software to creating an interactive database for TMA image viewing and data input.

TAD : Tissue Array Database Software for Download.

TMAJ : set of software tools used to manage Tissue MicroArray (TMA) data and information..

Original Tissue Microarray Reference Papers:

Battifora H: The multitumor (sausage) tissue block: novel method for immunohistochemical antibody testing. Lab Invest 1986, 55:244-248.

Kononen J, Bubendorf L, Kallioniemi A, Barlund M, Schraml P, Leighton S, Torhorst J, Mihatsch MJ, Sauter G, Kallioniemi OP: Tissue microarrays for high-throughput molecular profiling of tumor specimens. Nat Med 1998, 4:844-847.