Re: Dremel tool

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From:Barry Rittman <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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        first let me apologize to those of you who are inconvenienced by an
unopenable attachment to my email. Believe I have to get an act of Congress to
get this removed.

As regards slicing of rat long bones I think that the advice given has to
depend on the end result that is desired.
I believe that the original question was concerning a preparation  for tissue
culture. In this case most of the suggestions will I believe not be feasible.
This is because aseptic technique needs to be used as much as possible. Band
saws, Dremel tools etc. will not be free of contamination and in any case
contamination will be transferred from sample to sample. I therefore would
recommend hard backed razor blades which can be sterilized.
If slicing for histology purposes, it should be remembered that the soft tissue
will suffer anytime that rotating discs and blades are used. If you wish to
obtain better retention of soft tissue with any of these techniques then I
would also suggest, where possible to fix before slicing. If all the soft
tissue needs to be retained in situ then tissue should be fixed and processed
to plastic.
In those cases where teeth are being sectioned, a Dremel tool with a diamond
disc or a diamond cutoff wheel are useful.
One recent piece of equipment that has been purchased for our histology service
laboratory is a small table top band saw with a very thin diamond impregnated
blade. This blade is able to cut through all materials we have tried so far
including enamel, dentin, bone, porcelain, and metal implants. It will not cut
your finger if it contacts the blade (if you are as clumsy as I am at such
things) . It's easy to clean. Soft tissue is still damaged but appear to be
less damage with this machine than with other techniques.
I would highly recommend this machine.
It is manufactured by Marmed Inc., Cleveland Ohio. It is distributed by
Columbia Diagnostics, Illinois.  (703-569-7511) but is not in their catalogue.
The cost to us about 6 months ago was around $700.

Philip Oshel wrote:

> Carol & listers,
> Dremels are nice, but they are really hobbyist tools and are underpowered.
> They'll do the job, but more slowly and with less control, and have shorter
> lifetimes. Check your local college's art department metals program, or a
> local metalsmith/jeweler for recommendations for flex-shaft machines.
> According to my local metalsmith (my wife), Foredom is the best. The bits
> can be bought at either a local hardware store or from a supply company
> like Rio Grande (I don't have an address handy, but can get one if anyone
> is interested). There are other good brands as well. These are more
> expensive than Dremels, however (sometimes much more).
> The problem is that these are not portable tools--they either sit on a
> bench top, or hang inverted nearby and require AC line power. I don't know
> of any cordless models off hand, but the art people in the local metals
> program ought to know.
> Phil
> >I was pleasantly surprised to see this topic come up today.  I am not
> >using a dremel tool in the lab, but our wildlife health field crew is for
> >doing necropsies on white-tailed deer.  They didn't want to spend the
> >money for a stryker saw.  These folks will probably want to use the
> >same instrument for cutting up seals, dolphins, whales, and sea turtles
> >this summer.  Are there any negative implications for them personally, or
> >specimen quality?  (I have managed to convince them to take chunks that
> >aren't bigger than a megacassette, but they don't want to admit that you
> >CAN collect a tissue that fits in a regular cassette IN THE FIELD.)
> >
> >Regards -
> >Carol
> >*****************************
> >Carol B.  McCollough, HT (ASCP)
> >Diagnostics & Histology Laboratory Manager
> >Maryland Department of Natural Resources
> >Fisheries Service
> >Cooperative Oxford Laboratory
> >904 S.  Morris Street
> >Oxford, MD 21654
> ****be famous! send in a tech tip or question***
> Philip Oshel
> Technical Editor, Microscopy Today
> PO Box 620068
> Middleton, WI  53562
> Voice: (608) 833-2885
> Fax: (608) 836-1969 (please make sure my name is on any fax)

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