Re: Celloidin (section keeper-on; with procedure)

From:"J. A. Kiernan"

Agustín Venzano wrote:
> Dear Histonetters: What kind of experience did you have with the use of
> celloidin- ether for preventing tissues detachment from slides? We usually
> pour some drops of celloidin working solution onto the sections placed in
> the staining rack just between 96 º alcohol and absolute alcohol.

In my lab we regularly used nitrocellulose (celloidin) 
protection, years ago, for sections of decalcified rats'
heads that had to spend 18 hours in a warm solution of
borate-buffered (pH 8.5) silver nitrate. We also did it
for counterstaining developed autoradiographs (with alcian
blue and alum-brazilin) when it looked as if the emulsion 
was in danger of coming off the slides. We used 0.2-0.5%
nitrocellulose (Parloidin or Necolloidin) in a 50:50 mixture
of diethyl ether and 100% ethanol.

Putting the protectant solution on top of the sections did
not work; the nitrocellulose layer often floated off,
usually mutilating or removing some of the sections too. We
found that it was necessary for the nitrocellulose film to
encase the whole slide - front, edges, corners and back.

This is a useful, though rather troublesome technique. It
is essential that you follow the instructions faithfully
(and intelligently; there's a reason for every step).
For the benefit of those who would like to try it, I
have put a detailed set of instructions on my web site:

The procedure is closely similar to that recommended by
Manfred Gabe in his monumental "Histological Techniques"
(Paris: Masson, 1976), but it was developed largely by
building on the advice of the late Ted Walker, who was  
our department's chief histotechnologist (technician, in
those days) from 1946(?) to 1975. 
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1

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