RE: Cutting paraffin blocks in a cryostat

From:David Taylor Manager <>

Dear Andrew, I guess it's possible but I am not sure how you will get
paraffin infiltrated and supported tissue to attach and hold on to a
cryostat chuck. I am assuming that the Leica crostat has the round chuck
which drops into a round sleeve and locks tight. Although a cryostat may
look like a fridge with a microtome in it they are each designed with a
purpose in mind. The temperature will make it hard to trim, hard to
ribbon (if not impossible). Do you have access to a water-bath to float
out your sections? etc
It would be a whole lot easier to talk to the staff at the Med Lab Sc
school and borrow some time on one of there microtomes. If that fails
I'm sure one of the local histo labs would rip off a few sections for
you. David.

David Taylor
Laboratory Manager
Drs King & Mower
Adelaide, Australia

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Gray []
Sent: Tuesday, 1 May 2001 10:20
Subject: Cutting paraffin blocks in a cryostat

Hello Histonetters,

A question from a newbie to the list.   I was wondering if anyone knew
if it is possible to cut paraffin blocks in a cryostat.   I have access
to a Leica CM 1850 cryostat and I wish to examine some soft tissues of
rats.   Paraffin is preferable for handling and storage reasons, but I
don't have access to a standard microtome.   The mechanics of a cryostat
seem essentially the same, but I was wondering about the practicalities
of using it in this way (e.g. the appropriateness of the blade, holding
the block in position with the adhesive, temperature etc.).

Thanks in advance,

Andrew Gray
B.Pharm, B.PharmSc(Hons)
Ph.D student
Victorian College of Pharmacy
Melbourne, Australia

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