Re: Skin problems

From:"Renton, Lousie, Mrs" <>

I'll probably get shot down in flames for this but......

You don't say what the actual problem  is and what kind of skin 
you are working with - is it heavily keratinised like skin from the 
sole of the foot? Is this not perhaps a processing problem with the 
samples too "mushy"? Skin from the nipple is notoriously hard to 
get a section from if the underlying subcutaneous tissue is poorly 

I used to find that the orientation of the skin in relation to the knife 
made quite a difference. I used to embed the skin so that when the 
block was put in the microtome the subcutaneous tissue was cut 
first and the dermis last (ie soft to hard) - this used to reduce the 
number of scores through the tissue. It also helped if the 
orientation of the sample was angled in relation to the knife. Also, 
the block needs to be properly chilled before cutting.

 As for the falling off, try silane coated or positively charged slides - 
this might help.  Allow the section to drip dry properly before 
proceeding with staining.

Hope this helps

Best regards
Louise Renton
South Africa

On 25 Jan 02, at 11:58, Kavita Joory wrote:

> Can anyone suggest ways to make paraffin embedded human skin easier to
> cut ? we have tried mollifex but still have problems.  Also our skin
> sections tend to come off in the microwave (we are using gelatin
> coated slides) any help would be greatly appreciated
> kind regards
> Kavita Joory
> --
> Kavita Joory
> Research Assistant
> Department of Physiology
> University of Bristol
> School of Pre-clinical Veterinary Sciences
> Southwell Street
> United Kingdom
> BS2 8EJ
> Telephone: 0117 928 7416

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