|From:||RUSS ALLISON <Allison@Cardiff.ac.uk>|
It has been my practice since time immemorial to place blocks
face down on a tray of ice - even before "trimming" "facing-off"'
whatever. There are always trays of ice ready in the freezer!
The blocks are then returned to the ice awaiting their turn to be
sectioned (* see below).
The only "regular problem in my labs is that mucin (in salivary
glands, for example), tends to swell from the surface. The block is
easily re-faced - trimmed - immediately before sectioning.
Portions of these glands are invariably less well processed than
other tissue in a routine programme. Swollen material can, on
occasion, protrude from the block surface The reasons have been
well covered in these pages before.
This is the important bit. The reason for using ice - or ice-water -
is that as the temperature is lowered, so differences in hardness
become less and less. The advantages of trying to bring all tissue
components in the block to a common consistency should speak
for themselves. (Forgive the grammar - or lackof it).
* The ice will, of course, be melting all the while and blocks will,
therefore, be cooled (iced) and soaked.
Russ (in a white coat!)
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