This company was started in July 2002 for the purpose of bringing these new methods of preparation of tissues for frozen sections to my colleagues in pathology. I had been practicing surgical pathology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey for 22 years at the time. We pathologists cut the frozen sections at HUMC. Over the years I was confronted numerous times with impossible embedding tasks. I was been swamped with specimens on a daily basis, forced to wait and watch as I applied the heat extractor weight to each block. Over the prior 10 years I had been working on methods to overcome these difficult situations. Much of this was accomplished with tools in my basement. The result of these efforts are this simple set of apparatus which we used in our hospital with great success for the next 7 years. At this point I felt it was time to share this with our colleagues.
All of the manufacturing of this apparatus is done locally in the USA and I have to thank these terrific manufactures who helped me get started by trying to keep the costs down in such small numbers. All of the freezing apparatus and chucks are made of stainless steel and are pretty much indestructible. Stainless steel is very hard and expensive to machine. I have priced these items as low as possible. It would have been much less expensive to make the chucks from aluminum but it does not have the same freezing capacity. Aluminum is warmed by the embedding medium. It transfers heat well but does not itself store enough cold to have much freezing capacity.
Would we ever consider paraffin embedding tissue by putting the tissue on a chuck, dripping wax on it and squashing it with a weight? My goal was to get users to realize this is the way it should have been done 100 years ago, and maybe the cryostat manufacturers will follow suit. Then I can go back to a normal lifestyle.
This company consists of me, my wife and a couple of pets barking in the background. Right now my facility consists of a lot of large shelves in what was my study, a desk in the family room where Jeannine works and the workshop in my basement where I have been doing some of the final finishing duties. So if you are wondering why you may get an answering machine if you call, my wife may be picking up the kids.
I have made this all sound pretty high tech....don't ya think?
Some of the best things are home grown. I am pretty sure most people who give it a serious trial will not look forward to going back to conventional methods. And if the world of pathology still wants to accept frozen section as a inferior technique fraught with limitations......at least I still have my day job!
Stephen Peters M.D.
We are in our twelfth year of business and still sharing our system around the world. We have over 2000 institutions using our system on six continents. I am very proud to have Leica Microsystems continuing to help us to promote these methods internationally. Many thanks to all of our distributors including Fisher Scientific, Electron Microscopy Sciences, Advantek Scientific, Pacific Southwest Lab Equipment Inc., Immunohistochemistry.com, Mercedes Medical, and Dae Myung Science for their help in sharing these methods with their customers.
I can't thank my wife Jeannine enough for her ever increasing role at Pathology Innovations. I have been fighting multiple sclerosis for a number of years now and I could not continue to keep this up without her help. I am very lucky to have her. I am hoping we can keep this up for some time together.
I have been thoroughly enjoying my position as Director of Surgical Pathology at University Hospital Newark, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. I am sorry I did not make the change earlier. There is great reward in sharing what one has learned over the years. As you can imagine, I will put my residents up against any when it comes to cutting a quality frozen section.
Sorry to say we will be raising our prices a bit this year. Only the second time in 12 years. Unfortunately we have to keep up with rising material costs. These solid stainless steel pieces are still a bargain.
And lastly, want to thank all of our customers who have helped us promote our system by sharing these methods with colleagues. A large part of our sales comes from user word of mouth or residents being trained in these methods. I just love getting panicky calls from new pathologists who have trained in our methods who arrive at their new job where old face up embedding methods are sill used. Once you have used the Precision Cryoembedding System, you will not want to go back!
This is a very sad entry in our short history. I lost the love of my life, Jeannine on April 23, 2015. Jeannine was every bit as responsible for the growth and success of our mission as I was. She created and managed the business side of this company and was an enormous help in our exhibits. As I became more debilitated, she picked up my slack and allowed us to exhibit for another three years. I could not have asked for a more wonderful partner in life. The world of pathology owes her thanks for helping to bring this system to our colleagues. I will never be the same without her. Now that I am alone handling the job, please have patience if you get an answering machine when I am at work. It is always best to email me with questions and orders.
On a brighter note, we seem to have taken a fairly sharp upturn this year, experiencing a 45% increase so far. I believe my seeds have sprouted, and set out a new crop of seeds. I estimate around 2500 user institutions at this time.
It is time for anyone who has not yet tried our system to get their demos. I am dedicated to sharing these better ways to prepare frozen sections, however I am not sure how long my MS will give me the strength to continue. As the expense of manufacturing this apparatus allows for very modest profits at the current prices, it is unclear if this will be profitable in the hands of another larger company. Hence, it is unclear who will make these when I can no longer physically do the job. Anyone who is currently using the system can tell you what a tragedy it would be if our system was no longer available. Hopefully, one of our medical device supplier companies will be interested in helping to share these methods for more than the financial rewards.