Re: Tissue Compression

From:George Beaver <>

Try soaking your endometrium in ice water after facing the block. Another
alternative would be to try soaking the block in saturated sodium bicarbonate
water and then recooling the block.
As for the fat have you tried the "fat squish" method? Take two paper towels or
4X4 gauze and squeeze the ooze out of the block then embed the block as usual.

Tim Webster wrote:

> Hi everybody,
> I am looking for peoples opinions on the evils of tissue compression during
> routine parrafin sectioning.
> Our lab uses Curtin Matheson Scientific blades which produce clean sections
> (when new) but we experience serious compression when cutting some tissues -
> Most notably lipomas and endometrial curretage - of up to 25%.
> I have tried adjusting the angle, the temperature of the block,
> faster/slower cutting etc to no effect.  The archives talk about using
> different wax for infiltrating and embedding, but little about the day to
> day battle of cutting. (Incidentaly,we use the same wax for infiltrating and
> embedding.)
> Interestingly, using Leica blades produces almost compression-free sections,
> but bloody specimens in particular -emc or ecc for example- are unbelivably
> fragile and often croak before you can lay them out on the waterbath.  I
> like cutting with the leica because the  sections are SO good, if you have
> the time to be a little finicky.  Our contract of course is with CMS, so I
> jealously guard my dwindling supply.
> What do you guy's think? (Other than to fork out for Leica blades!)
> Tim Webster
> Northwestern Medical Center
> Fairfield Street, VT
> (802) 524-1070

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