[Histonet] Help Please!! ... with MMA

From:"Lott, Robert"



I have been making Polymethylmethacrylate plastic since I have worked
here.  The idea, as you know, is to embed the bones into a matrix at
least as hard as they are, so that they can be cut into 5 micron


The trouble I'm having now is that I cannot get the sections to


In the past, we have just always simply put them into xylene overnight,
(or even 2x - 20-30 minute changes of acetone when we were in a hurry),
and the PMMA would dissolve so that they could be stained.  


Now (since the first of the summer) the plastic will not dissolve.  It's
as if I have created a "super-polymer"!  The thin section of PMMA just
turns to "goo" in any solvent I try!  It is extremely warm and humid in
my laboratory environment, and I believe this has contributed to the

So far, I have tried the following:

Xylene, acetone, THF (tetrahydrofuran), plain monomer (MMA),
trichloroethelene, 2-methoxyethylacetate, DMF (dimethyformamide), DMSO

Methylethylketone, polyethylene glycol, dichloromethane, hexane,
chloroform, perchlorethelene (from the dry cleaners),

"Goo-gone" (available in the hardware store)


I have also tried all of the above with heat and agitation, as well as
some combinations of the above.

I am at my wit's end!  I must find a way to remove the plastic!


I tried re-making the PMMA with ALL NEW solutions, that had just been
ordered and kept refrigerated.  No luck!  Same gooey mess....cannot
stain them!


=0ADoes anyone have any ideas about what may be the problem as well as how=0Dthis may be remedied ?



Patty Lott

Orthopedic Research

UAB Medical Center



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