RE: [Histonet] muscle cross section
It may be easier to identify the direction the fibers run before processing
the specimens. Place the specimen on a piece of filter paper under a
dissecting scope. Roll it gently so that excess liquid is absorbed by the
filter paper. If it's too wet, reflections from the liquid make it harder to
see clearly. With small specimens of course you have to work fairly quickly
to ensure that they don't dry too much. Once you establish the correct
orientation, apply a tiny dot of india ink to the end of the specimen that
will be on top at the moment of embedding - in other words, the end that
will not be sectioned. Then just drop it back into the fixative. The tip of
a sharp probe or needle of some kind can deliver a tiny dot of ink. Not a
hypodermic needle though - that will draw up extra ink by capillary action,
and may dispense more than you want. After processing, the ink will still be
there, and you can orient the specimens by that mark even though you can't
actually see the orientation directly.
Also, not to state the obvious, perhaps you could speak to the persons
preparing the specimens and ask them if it is possible to cut them so that
they are longer than they are wide - in other words, so that the muscle
fibers run parallel to the long axis of the specimen.
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of
> Steven Coakley
> Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2006 1:27 PM
> To: Histonet@lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Subject: [Histonet] muscle cross section
> I'm having to process and embed rodent cross section muscle. Allot of the
> muscle is very small and irregular pieces when I recieve it for
> processing. By the time I'm ready to embed it, trying to find the cross
> section is almost anybodies guess. Lately I've been taking shallow cuts
> and staining them to make sure I have a fairly exceptable cross section.
> Makes for allot of extra work and sometime lost tissue. Has anyone any
> experiance and advice for this delemma.
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