Help requested in selecting a sledge/sliding microtome

From:anthony norman

Hello all,

I am on the market for a new microtome to section methacrylate embedded, 
undecalcified bone and soft tissues. Since we are an orthopaedics 
department and don't believe in doing anything small, the specimens will 
likely be on the large side (approximately 40mm x 40mm .. probably 
larger at some point).

I have obtained a quote on the Leica SM2500 E and a Microm 440 E. 
Hopefully, I will be receiving information on a system from Hacker 
Instruments soon. The main question I have is whether anyone out there 
has used these for such projects and their pros/cons. Aside from the 
obvious price differences, I want to make sure the system we select is 
able to reliably reproduce ~20 um thick sections of publication quality. 
The Leica literature indicates it is designed specifically for such 
endeavors while the Microm literature remains a little vague on the 
facts. While the Microm has the ability to rotate the blade holder, I'm 
thinking this is not necessarily a plus in my application. I have little 
knowledge of what the Hacker systems might be capable of yet, though the 
sales folks indicated it was similar to the Leica system (despite not 
being all that familiar with the specific model I was mentioning).

Any thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated. I am hoping to 
try and get this through my purchasing dept before the first of the year 
since Leica is apparently raising their prices another 6% then.

Thanks,

Tony Norman
Graduate Research Assistant
University of Washington
Box 356500
Seattle, WA 98195
Tel: 206.543.3690
FAX: 206.685.3139




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