RE: Paraffin Survey Results (and keeping secrets)

From:Mass Histology Service

I just had a client call to tell me he's sending a "secret formula" for us
to soak his decals in.  The histologist who supplied him with the "formula"
made him promise not to tell anyone what the formula consisted of.  I
mentioned this recent thread on histonet and he told me that was the
formula!  Are there still histotechs out there who think they have something
better than the rest of us?  I thought I left that when I quit research.

Happy holidays to all!  Thanks for all of the tips this year.


James E. Staruk, HT(ASCP)
Mass Histology Service, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Spoelstra []
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2001 11:15 PM
Subject: Re: Paraffin Survey Results


We use 1-5% fabric softener for an hour or longer after decalcification of
bone and have no problems cutting bone. The commercial manufacturers of
fabric softeners claim that it is the surfactant properties that allow for
better penetration of a fabric by detergent. In the chapter on bone in
the "theory and practice of histological techniques" by Bancroft and
Stevens  it recommends using either long processing times or double
embedding to render bone cuttable. This suggests that it isn't the
properties of the paraffin but enhanced paraffin infiltration that it is
critical in obtaining high quality sections from bone. If you have bone
that you has already been processed, taking it back to paraffin or even
back to absolute and leaving them in the latter part of the processing
cycle for extended periods of time should resolve the problem

Gerard Spoelstra
School of Biomedical and Veterinary Science
Medical Scientist
Murdoch University
Western Australia

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