Caveat about Elmer's glue

From:Gayle Callis

Elmers glue has been used in the past, but some labs reported contamination
(bacterial, whatever) when using it - and if I remember correctly, there
have been publications/technical hints about this problem. That was enough
for our lab to abandon Elmers glue in lieu of in house prepared chrome
subbing solutions or (way back then) advent of poly l lysine or silane
coatings.  We use Elmers glue for a short time, but disliked its white

I was under the impression Elmers was a by product of the dairy industry,
since Bordens (of Elsie the Cow fame) manufactured this glue for school
children and household use.  Personally, I would rather purchase
commercial(Surgipath) or make up chrome gelatin solution or some other
slide coating solution for histology purposes and leave Elmers to the
school children and households.   When poly l lysine coating methods
arrived on the scene, we abandoned Elmers glue entirely or did the chrome
gelatin subbing for the very difficult, large decalcified sheep tibia, dog
tibia and femur section.  

If you want to reduce background and are using 275 bloom gelatin, go to 100
bloom, larger molecule collagen often gives more H&E background staining
than smaller molecule (100 bloom) gelatin.  

Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology - Marsh Lab
Montana State University - Bozeman
S. 19th and Lincoln St
Bozeman MT 59717-3610

406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
406 994-4303 (FAX)


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