using 100% as decontaminant in cryostat

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From:Gayle Callis <>

I think the use of alcohol was discussed eons ago, as a decontaminating agent
in cryostat.  The question arose, 70% vs 95 or absolute alcohol, and 70% was
preferred for specific reasons, had something to do with suface tensions, etc.
hopefully someone will come forth with this again. 

Afer observing people inside of biohoods, cleaning down an area (wiping),
they use 70% ethanol to reduce contamination by bacteria and some are working
with adenoviruses.  I figured if they get no contamination of their cell
cultures, etc, with this type of cleaning, it would work in the cryostat as

To decontaminate, we defrost, wipe down with 70% several times on absorbant
towels, go to 100% to remove the residual water (cryostat is supposed to be dry
before putting it back together)  There are some wipe cloths available now,
from Current Technology that look promising, if people want to do a final
wipedown after the 70% or even before that (when cryostat is warmed from
defrosting).  There are other sources of wipe cloths, but I was always afraid
to put too much gunk in the cryostat, didn't want corrosion.

We do wipe down areas in cryostat when it is running with 70% also, not a lot,
but enough to attract all the trimmings and after every use, if necessary. 

I think this in one of the tough areas to deal with, cryostat innards and
protecting workers, and using formalin fumes just isn't acceptable.

Out of curiosity, does everyone cryosection with gloves on these days in the
clinical setting?

Gayle Callis

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