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Module 4D: Frozen/tissue imaging

Module Purpose:

This module will cover imaging workflows for frozen specimens/tissue samples. Frozen samples are generally preserved in -80°C freezers or in Liquid Nitrogen dewars, and might or might not be in ethanol. In order to avoid degradation of DNA and RNA, frozen samples should be kept on ice as much as possible.

Module Keywords:

Frozen, tissue, specimen, specimens, molecular, genomic, DNA, RNA, Imaging, Image

TaskID Task Name Explanations and Comments Resources
T1 Select sample vials and place them on ice Fill an insulated container with ice prior to removing samples from freezer. Keep samples on ice as much as possible to avoid thawing. Pick specimens to be digitized depending on project or priority, the workflow outlined for this module integrates steps for specimen imaging. Thermal insulated gloves, insulated container (Styrofoam box), ice. Institutional imaging policy. For further information on imaging guidelines and standards, see iDigBio.
T2 If specimens are not catalogued, transcribed, or databased, decide on whether to do so before or after imaging. Regardless, imaged specimens should be associated with a unique identifier such as a catalog number. Add unique identifiers (if needed) and a label indicating that the specimen has been imaged. Exemplar high resolution imaging can be done before or after typical databasing of specimen. Generally, digitization of specimens is a different workflow than imaging specimens in high resolution, and should be thought about separately, although associating images with specimens is much easier if they already at least have an database record created with an associated unique identifier. Institutional guidelines for labels
T3 Select one specimen at a time, remove labels if possible. Labels might be attached to cryovials, in this case, removal is not recommended. Forceps for removing labels.
T4 Photograph labels (or vials with attached labels) While photographing labels, keep samples on ice. Institutional guidelines for labels  
T5 Remove specimens/tissue from ice Photograph samples as fast as possible to avoid thawing. Remeber to adjust camera settings before removing samples from ice.  
T6 Return specimen/tissue and labels into vial and immediately place them on ice    
T7 Return specimen/tissue vials to freezer or Liquid Nitrogen as soon as possible    

Essential Training:

Module Metrics, Costing, and Reporting:

Define metrics that can be measured to assess success of workflows using this module (reference specific TaskIDs).

Outreach Opportunities:

List outreach opportunities that arise in workflows using this module (reference specific TaskIDs).

Exemplar Workflows:

List of examplar workflows organized by database type.


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