Re: help with transfering plastic sections

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In a message dated 03/27/2000 4:28:00 PM US Mountain Standard Time, writes:

<< We are cutting glycolmethacrylate sections, around 1 micrometer thick, with
 glass knives and are having a difficult time transfering sections to
 microscope slides without the sections folding. How do you do it/ Does
 anyone have a favorite technique they would care to share?


We used to have pretty good luck picking up the sections from the knife with 
very fine-tipped watchmaker's forceps (#5) and transferring to a drop of 
water on a glass microscope slide.  Methacrylates are pretty hydrophilic, so 
when they hit the drop of water they will usually spread right out on the 
surface and gently settle on the slide as the water evaporates.  

Very mild heat will speed things up, but too much heat too quickly will cause 
the section to wrinkle and fold.  I think this is probably because of 
bubbling and turbulence in the water as it boils.

A friend of mine also has good luck transferring the sections to a drop of 
water using a broken wooden applicator have to use a "rolling" 
movement to get the section off the stick and onto the slide.  I never could 
do this properly.

We also used an eyelash glued to the end of an applicator stick to lift the 
section off the knife, but this isn't very easy to do, especially if the 
section is on the large side.  My favorite is still the #5 watchmaker's 

Hope this helps.


Bob Chiovetti

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