Re: paraffin section compression

From:Connie McManus <>


I cut a quite a few fish tissues and have found them to cut very nicely
after soaking in a solution of fabric softner diluted in DI water 1:20 for
about 1 -2 minutes.  I face & cut them at room temperature.  I have never
cared much for ice water alone, although many people have great success
with it.  

If that doesn't help, then re-embed them.  When I get blocks from our
associate lab in Provo, I always re-embed them and have no problems cutting
their stuff.  If I don't re-embed, they are impossible to cut. Hope this
helps some!

Happy trials and keep smilin' *g*
Connie M

At 07:14 AM 7/17/01 -0700, Carla M Aiwohi wrote:
>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 edges
>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 smooth
>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 me)?
>      We use TissuePrep 2 and it cuts just fine.
Connie McManus

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