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Leica ST5020 Routine Staining & Coverslipping

Leica ST5020 Multistainer


Can the Autostainer and Multistainer Workstations also be operated with the deep load container in the Coverslipper?

Yes, since August 2006, both workstations can be operated with the deep load container. Thus, the covering on the slides will be improved and problems during coverslipping, like the forming of bubbles, will be eliminated. In order to ensure the proper function of the deep load container in the CV/ST combinations, the workstations have to be modified before using the container. A catch plate is already installed and the spacer has to be modified to ensure correct function. Please contact your local Leica service representative for further details. Without prior retrofitting of the instruments, the use of the deep load container will lead to substantial functional problems.

The upper part of the sections on the specimen slides is dried out

  • The stroke of the mounting media may need to be adjusted toward the top of the slide.
  • The volume of mounting media may need to be increased.
  • The solvent level in the xylene bath may not be sufficiently high enough to cover the top of the slides to help with the even dispensing of the mounting media, and is therefore creating bubbles or drying artefact.
  • If the maximum fill level is not sufficient to cover entire specimens on slides, you may need to use the higher load container:
14047839657 Load container for slides racks (Xylene bath), deep
Keep in mind, however, that by default the higher container is compatible only with the stand-alone Leica CV5030. In operation as a workstation (Leica ST5020/CV5030 or ST5010 (Autostainer XL)/CV5030) the higher container is compatible only after corresponding modifications. In this case, please call the Leica Microsystems Service.

How many racks can be stained at the same time?

Depending on the staining protocol up to 12 racks can be stained simultaneously - with Leica Microsystems' proposed stain protocols commonly between 4 to 9 racks.

What can be done to avoid carryover?

Lower the lift speed (1 = less carryover; 9 = more carryover). Place the staining solutions next to water stations. Avoid long distances between stations.

When does the filling process of the water stations start and how long does it take until the stations are filled?

The filling process starts 40 seconds before the rack is picked up by the transfer arm and it takes approximately 20 seconds to fill the water stations.

What is the recommended slide drying time?

After a warm up period of approximately 5 minutes it takes 15 minutes to dry slides (bake) at 70 °C.

How often does the activated carbon filter need to be replaced?

Every 3 months.

Why does the robotic transport arm drop racks?

The handles of the stations are located on the wrong (left) side or they are deformed in shape.

Why is the rack not picked-up from the load station?

  • SUPERVISOR mode is still activated.
  • The first/next station is already occupied.
  • There is no clip on the rack.
  • The rack is inserted with the clip to the rear side.
  • Programs are not compatible.

What is the meaning of the red bar in the station button on the display?

The Reagent Management System (RMS) is activated. The longer the red bar the closer the moment the reagent has to be changed.

What are the possible reasons for a program not starting?

One step in the program has no defined station-time. The reagent in the program-step does not correspond with the station or otherwise.

Reasons why a rack might not start when loaded into the Leica ST5020

  • The program is not complete; either a station has no defined time or the reagent name in the program does not match the name assigned to the vessel on the instrument status.
  • When starting a program that is displayed as ‘ready to start’, you get the error ‘slide rack cannot be optimally integrated into the staining schedule’.  It is necessary to use the optimization tool to optimize the staining steps in order to integrate this program. If the resources are unavailable to the user, the local Leica Microsystems representative should be contacted.
  • In case the serial cable linking the stainer to the coverslipper is not securely fastened, the stainer is not aware of the coverslipper and every program ending in the coverslipper will not start.
  • The stainer is in Supervisor mode.
  • An oven is the first step in the protocol and for some reason the instrument does not recognize that the oven is installed.
  • The programs are assigned to end in the CV5030, but the coverslipper is switched off (only workstation mode).

The stained specimen slides are available in the last station of the Leica ST5020. Why doesn’t the transport arm move the slide rack to the coverslipper, when it is programmed to do so?

The CV5030 is busy or requires operator intervention. For example, a slide rack is still in the bath or the transport station is occupied with three slide racks and was not emptied by the user.

Is there any limitation on programming exact steps?

With the exception of the Exit station, each step can be programmed as an exact step. The last station always needs an interaction, either from the user or the workstation (only for workstation mode).

How many clip colors are available?

Nine different colors are available:
White – order number 1407533632
Yellow – order number 1407533633
Light blue – order number 1407533634
Dark blue – order number 1407533635
Pink – order number 1407533636
Red – order number 1407533637
Light green – order number 1407533638
Purple – order number 1407533640
Grey – order number 1407533641.