Re: Candle wax for Paraffin embedding?
John (Kiernan) has dragged me out of the woodwork!!
Yes John, there was very little difference between the performance
and the structure of all the waxes I examined and tested. The
studies I did, did Not include candle wax. I always presumed it to
be little different to those we use in histology. I still believe that to
be true - although there is probably some addition of a slightly
harder wax - such as the polishing, or "floor" waxes.
There was a formulation of histology wax marketed in the USA
which included a beta terpene (crudely, pine tree "resin"). I found
that to be particularly helpful in maintaining the interface between
decalcified tissue and the solidified wax of the paraffin block. The
added resin was named "Piccolite" and was produced by an
American company called "Hercules Chemical Company" if I
remember correctly. It did require more careful attention to
sections on the floating out bath.
When I was able to get hold of the stuff, I used to grind it up in a
pestle and mortar (what's that?) and add it at 10% to plain paraffin
In structural terms, Paymond A Lamb (A UK company) did
successfully produce a wax with a significantly different crystal
structre - VA5 - and which many people found significantly helpful
for sectioneing the very hardest tissue.
That of course, is all the theory! We all know that section cutting
is an art that is unique to each microtomist and that which works
best for you IS best!!!........for you!
The important thing is that your supply is "clean" and, especially,
free of "grit" or any other minute fragments dirt or dust.
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