Re: paraffin section compression

From:Nancy E Weber <>

Hi Carla,

We used Paraplast X-tra over at the Wash. Animal Disease lab over in Pullman
in which we cut alot of various fish parts and didn't have any problems. It
might be a processing problem.  What you might try, and I don't know how
many blocks you have, is to re-embed them, or one to see, in your embedding
material and see if that makes a difference. This has helped me before
especially if the blocks were old blocks.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Carla M Aiwohi" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:14 AM
Subject: paraffin section compression

> Hi everyone,
> Our lab was sent blocks of fish tissue (liver, spleen and heart) embedded
> in Paraplast X-tra (aka Tissue-Path).   I am trying to cut sections at 4
> microns.  They are compressed when cut and paraffin around the tissue
> doesn't want to expand on the water bath causing lots of wrinkles(on
> tissue, not me yet).  Here's what I've tried so far:
> - after sectioning, cutting around the tissue radially and trying to
> out with brush (didn't help much)
> - adjusting the knife angle (cuts best at 3 deg.)
> - raising water bath temp. (49C )
> - soaking blocks in ice bath from 10 min. to half day
> - changing disposable knives constantly
> - slowing my cutting speed (sectioning done manually)
> Slides will be given to participants at a workshop, so I'd like to make
> them as perfect as possible.
> Please help-  I am running out of time, tissue and ideas.
> Thank you,
> Carla (Aiwohi) Conway
> Western Fisheries Research Center
> Seattle, WA
> P.S.  Do others have trouble cutting Paraplast-embedded tissues (or is it
> just 

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