PAXgene for molecular diagnostics applications on oral pre-cancer and cancer tissues—described by IIT Kharagpur researchers for the first time in India

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Recently, a scientific study has revealed the applicability of a new, non-toxic, formalin-free tissue fixation system PAXgene (QIAGEN-PreAnalytix, Germany) in studying oral pre-cancer/cancer biopsies with an aim to reduce processing damage incurred by conventional formalin-fixation and improve the quality of molecular pathology assays.

Dr. Pooja Lahiri, the Postdoctoral Fellow at School of Medical Science and Technology (SMST) and Professor Jyotirmoy Chatterjee, Head of SMST along-with senior authors, Professor Basudev Lahiri and Professor Shailendra K Varshney from Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering at IIT Kharagpur , said —

“To the best of our knowledge, we are the first research group in India to demonstrate that PAXgene tissue fixation system can be implemented on oral cancer tissues for routine histological/ histopathological staining and diverse molecular pathology assays (i.e., immunohistochemistry and spectral-histopathology) without compromising on the quality of morphological and molecular attributes.”

PAXgene tissue fixation method has also ensured the preservation of several essential bio-components (nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins) as revealed by FTIR micro-spectroscopy.

“This information will save time in the clinics/medical institutes while collecting and processing the tissues for routine histology and molecular diagnostic purposes as a change in fixative for the preservation of key bio-molecules may no longer be necessary”, mentioned by Dr. Pooja Lahiri  and Prof. Chatterjee.

As medical decision-making moves toward personalised diagnostics by obtaining a broader spectrum of information from the same tissue, PAXgene tissue fixation system will help to improve the efficiency of molecular diagnosis. In terms of health and safety, PAXgene tissue fixation can also reduce the exposure of chemical carcinogens to the laboratory personnel, thereby improving the health index.

“We are currently looking for an active collaboration with medical institutes in India to test the efficiency of this non-toxic method in tissue archiving or bio-banking for variety of tissues”, added Prof. Chatterjee.

The research findings have been published in the Biomolecules journal by MDPI publishers ( on June 15, 2021.

This work was conceptualized by Dr. Pooja Lahiri and was primarily evolved for oral onco-pathology studies in the laboratory of Prof. Jyotirmoy Chatterjee at SMST along with contributions from lab members — Dr. Suranjana Mukherjee, DST Women Scientist and Dr. Biswajoy Ghosh, Scientific Project Officer.

The other significant senior-authors of this paper are Prof. Basudev Lahiri and Prof. Shailendra K Varshney from the Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering, IIT Kharagpur – who has provided their support to characterize the PAXgene system using advanced FTIR-microspectroscope.

The senior oral onco-pathologists, Prof. Emeritus Ranjan Rashmi Paul and Prof. Mousumi Pal have validated the pathological efficacy of PAXgene system on oral tissues. Prof. Paul is the Director of Research, Department of Oral and Dental Sciences, JIS University, Kolkata and Prof Pal is the HoD of Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the Guru Nanak Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Kolkata.

*The PAXgene fixative was first developed by Qiagen- PreAnalytix, Germany.(

** Certain excerpts for this post were taken from the original paper and reused under an open access Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.

***Dr. Lahiri would like to acknowledge the postdoctoral funding by IIT Kharagpur for partly funding this study. All the authors would like to further acknowledge the SERB-CRG (CRG/2020/002687) funding for funding this pre-analytical study.

Media contact: Prof. Jyotirmoy Chatterjee, Head and Professor, School of Medical Science and Technology

Email:,  Ph no.: +91-3222-282302


Contact: Paramita Dey, Junior Assistant

Email:, Ph. No.: +91-3222-282004


By Poulami Mondal

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