In addition to the direct and particle crush smears, bone marrow core imprint slides may also be prepared immediately upon procurement at the bedside. It is preferable to make smears as soon as possible after sample collection; so ideally, several imprint slides may be prepared at the bedside immediately upon procurement. To prepare these slides, the sample is repeatedly touched to the slide or rolled between two slides to create touch preparations (touch preps). After imprint slides are obtained, the core biopsy should either be placed in a transport media or fixative.
If an aspirate sample could not be obtained (commonly referred to as a "dry tap"), it is beneficial to place the bone core biopsy into transport media so that it can be cut using sterile technique into several samples for additional studies, such as cytogenetics, flow cytometry, or molecular genetics. When an aspirate is obtained in conjunction with a bone marrow core biopsy, the core can be placed into a fixative. Fixatives may vary depending on the laboratory specifications. Formalin, B5, AZF, or Zenker's may be used for fixation. Ideal fixation time is 1-2 hours, followed by decalcification.