Re: frozen sectioning (& vibratome)

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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <> (by way of histonet)
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On Thu, 6 Jul 2000, L. Gibbs wrote:

[ Lots of good advice about cutting fixed and frozen tissue ], then:
> If the specimen will be unfixed, you could try the cryostat with
> OCT embedding or a vibratome sans embedding.

  A vibratome will cut fixed objects too, more easily than unfixed
  things, and there are no freezing artifacts in the sections. The
  only disadvantages of the vibratome are (a) slow cutting, and
  (b) only feasible for thick sections. Often (b) is what's wanted,
  as in most CNS research applications, and (a) doesn't matter
  because when sections are thick you don't need as many, so it
  doesn't take too long.

  The generic name is vibrating microtome. Vibratome is a trade-name
  but it seems to have entered the english language in much the same
  way that the verb "to hoover" was swept in with the door-to-door
  salesmen of one manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, before any of
  us were born.

 John A. Kiernan,
 Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
 The University of Western Ontario,
 LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1

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