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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Basic Tissue Orientation and Paraffin Embedding Technique. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Choose appropriate mold size for specimen type leaving enough space
around specimen for a paraffin border.

Initial orientation in base mold on "cold spot" before movement to cold
plate for final cooling and solidification.

Step Three: Orient and Position Specimen According to Tissue Type

After selecting the appropriate mold, you will determine the correct orientation and position for the specimen in the block face. Place a small amount of molten paraffin within the bottom of the mold, and then move the mold with the specimen to the "cold spot." As the thin layer of paraffin begins to cool and harden, you can quickly move the specimen to the desired position. You will then add additional molten paraffin quickly and replace the cassette bottom atop the mold and over the specimen.