RE: [Histonet] carbowax

From:"Rittman, Barry R"

Erin
I agree totally with Rene.
Carbowax is a real pain to work with. 
To harden the wax you have you may want to try adding Ceresin, a higher MP wax.
If you need a much harden wax than this then the ester waxes are more suitable although they also have their problems.
A pertinent question here is why specifically does your lab director want or need a higher MP wax, what problems are you having and what tissues are you processing?
Barry

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Rene J Buesa
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 7:54 AM
To: Erin Wrona; histonet@lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: Re: [Histonet] carbowax

Hi Erin:
  Many years ago Carbowax was considered "a blessing" because you could infiltrate tissue (after fixation) with it avoiding dehydration and clearing. This sounds great but it was a mess to store and cut because of this same inherent quality of being water soluble (or miscible,as you wish).
  If you need harder paraffin (to cut hard tissues) you just simply should try to buy high melting point paraffin.
  When I worked with plant stems I used to infiltrate them with a heigh melting point paraffin (63-65║C) manufactured on those days by Merck (Darmstadt). I am sure that high melting point paraffins can be found in the market.
  I thing you should avoid carbowax.
  Hope this will help.
  RenÚ J.

Erin Wrona  wrote:
  Hi all,

Our lab director wants us to try using carbowax polyethylene glycol as an embedding medium because it has a slightly higher melting point than our paraffin. I have never used it other than in formulations for frozen sections, in which case it is water soluble. One of the other techs here thinks that it is always water soluble. Does anyone know for sure?

The specifics are: ems product #19770, PEG 8000 flakes, melting point 60-63 degrees. 

Thanks in advance,
Erin Wrona
San Francisco, CA
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