[Histonet] transferring paraffin ribbon

From:"Jacqueline Miller"

Hi everyone,

I would like to know about the techniques that histotechs use to cut
paraffin sections--especially how the ribbon is transferred from
microtome to water bath while preserving the first and last sections.

I've been sectioning paraffin blocks for almost 4 years now.  However,
I've never needed to  cut serial sections and the samples were always
large.  So, I never worried about losing the first section of each
ribbon (and sometimes the last).  I would like to know what techniques
the histologists out there use to transfer the ribbon from the microtome
to the water bath.  I've used metal forceps and my fingers (gloved and
not gloved) to grab the first section (but the section sticks to the
forceps), and I'm using the wooden part of a cotton swab to lift off the
last section, which is working fairly well.

I'm also using a new microtome, Leica RM2235, and having some trouble
with the first section coming off the knife just wrinkling up.   And,
the surface below the knife is such that even if I grab the edge of the
section with a paintbrush, it won't budge.  Is there anything I can do
to correct these problems?  Also, which is preferred, to cut the blocks
chilled or to leave them RT.  I used to cut blocks chilled all the time,
but here it's preferred that I cut them RT unless I have a problem.  


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