Purchasing a cryostat

From:Gayle Callis <uvsgc@msu.oscs.montana.edu>

After spending hours cryosectioning per year, hundreds of slides, here are
some things to I would look for:

Space in cabinet, is it adequate to hold blocks on chucks, equipment
(possible need for a cryosectioning tape transfer device, Instrumedics

How comfortable is the cryostat, can you sit comfortably without standing
on your head to turn the flywheel or have to hug the cabinet to reach into
sectioning area

Is the handle in a good position to reach, turn AND is the handle not some
narrow little round thing that makes you hold it with hand/fist tightly
clenched around it

Can everyone (all sizes and heights) in your lab reach the handle without
standing on their head or leaving their chair to adjust body position 

Can you use all types of knives, c profiles, disposable (Leica has a
delightful disposable knife holder to use 100% of a blade)

does it have an antiroll device that is easy to adjust and works well, if
you want to use this device

Is temperature control full range, from -35C to -15C

Is it fairly easy to clean/defrost

For those users of different heights, consider adjustable cryostat,
pneumatic raising and lowering of the cabinet - a joy for hours of
sectioning to save the back, etc and allows for easy reach INTO the cabinet. 

Are the chucks easy to use, or interchangeable with an older cryostat?  

Is the x/y axis adjustment simple, fast to use

Does the knife holder, other devices have handles that stick out in such a
way as to obstruct movement or bump into

are all adjustments inside cabinet (knife angle, postition of knife holder,
etc) easy to use.  

Are the outside controls in such a position that you do not "cock" your
wrist in a funky way to use them

Is the cutting mechanism automated, manual or both, with automated advance
to and from the knife on all cryostats

Have a thing these days about how cryostats are designed - some with
interesting features and others, just plain poorly. I love to critique
different cryostats (a vendors nightmare from the old gray mare!).  So far
mine has worked like a dream and am planning to purchase the newer model of
same brand in near future, a workhorse. 

Ergonomics is one of the biggest and often most commonly overlooked need,
much to my dismay.  


Gayle Callis
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-4705
406 994-4303

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>