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Shipping Instructions
Shipping Instructions

Shipping Instructions

Submitting Specimens

We try to make it as easy for you as possible when it comes to sending us specimens.

Mail-in Service:
All major commercial delivery services deliver to us on a daily basis Pre-paid postage tubes are available for veterinary samples.

Drop off:
You can hand deliver your specimens at our Worcester, MA facilities during working hours or drop them off in our secure drop-off box after hours

Sending us your cassettes: If you send us cassettes, please follow these few simple requirements:

Use only pencil. We are not responsible if your marker's ink washes off during processing. In 30 years, we've never had good old pencil disappear off the cassette during processing.

Keep it simple. Please don't try to label the cassette with all of the experiment's variables. It won't fit on the label and it disqualifies any "blind" scoring. Traditionally, the cassette is labeled with the experiment number, the animal number and organ (or site) code, typically "A", "B", "C", etc. Our slide labels have room for only two (2) lines, 12 characters per line.

1) Mass Histology Service is only responsible for labeling the microscope slide with the information legibly written on the cassette: Cassettes are batch processed in groups of 300 every night. We are not responsible for any identification information written on the containers in which the cassettes are sent to us in. Please have each cassette identified with the experiment number, animal number and tissue (or variable) code. We will only label the slide with the information that is written on the cassette.

2) Mass Histology Service will not be responsible for cleaning paraffin blocks sent to them: If we have to clean received paraffin blocks (scrape excess paraffin from them), there will be a $1.00 surcharge per block

3) Mass Histology Service will not be held responsible for poorly processed tissue submitted to us as paraffin blocks: We will do our best to section paraffin blocks prepared by others but we cannot guarantee perfect sections if we did not process the tissue.

4) Mass Histology Service will not be responsible for the labeling of cassettes sent to us: If we cannot read the markings on received cassettes due to illegible writing or if the ink washes off during processing, we will contact you and inform you of the situation. If the situation is noticed after tissue processing, the client is still responsible for paying for processing.

5) Mass Histology Service is not responsible for any unpredicted end result: If any "untried" tissue, material or antibody is submitted to Mass Histology Service for "R&D" (Research And Development) workup, the client is responsible for paying us for our time and efforts, even if the results are not in the client's favor.

6) Specimen size: If you are sending us specimens in a cassette, we will not be responsible if the tissues were too large to process on our routine processing cycle. What is the correct size to submit for routine processing? This is what I learned many years ago and it still holds true: If the tissue touches the sides of the cassette, it's too large and if the tissue touches the lid, it's too thick! Simple! Processing chemicals have to be able to enter the cassettes and surround the tissue to properly do their job.


Fix specimens for 12-24 hours (time depending on size of specimen) Transfer specimens into 70% alcohol. This is recommended for long term storage and required for shipping (unless you want the fat preserve. Double wrap the specimen container to prevent any leakage. Print out and fill in our request form. Also, if needed, include explicit written instructions as to how to orient the specimens, how many levels you want sectioned, what stains you want, etc. Include a manifest of specimens being sent along with their ID number. This is valuable if the containers or cassettes are partially illegible. Include your contact information and return address. We often try to notify you when the specimens are received, update you as the specimens are being worked on and let you know when the finished products are being prepared for delivery back to you.

If you need the slides on a specific date, please let us know. We'll do everything in our power to get the slides to you by the date requested.