FW: Placenta Update

From:James Small

Re: Placenta Update
Another thing your researcher can try is cutting a "cube" of placenta and placing it in formalin for half an hour before slicing it.  It firms up the tissue and makes it easier to cut more thinly.  The cube is about 2 cm on a side.  And does the formalin-ethanol mix work for them?   Then also suggest putting smaller pieces in a cassette; jsut cut the sections in half and use two cassettes.  And you can suggest a "study"--put identical pieces in cassettes for variable lengths of time, see the results.  Good luck. 
Jim Small MD (and part time placenta maven) 
 Ask your researcher to bring you a (written) copy of the journal article with the methodology she is attempting to follow, then you will be able to point out all the discrepancies between it and the very clear protocol you would normally use.

I agree with what Thomas Jasper said. If the researcher can explain to you what they intend to do with the tissue, you may be able to compromise, or shock horror!, make helpful suggestions. Over-fixing may possibly destroy some things (Ag's, enzymes) BUT under-fixing will most certainly result in poor morphology and crap sections, especially for placenta. Maybe she needs to do some more research about alternative methods that will suit this tissue type and optimal fixation.

Good Luck, Cath

Hi everyone,
Thank you all for responding to my dilemma.

Here's an update on my placental problems.  Not only does the researcher have problems cutting the tissue smaller than 3 mm thick - she also wants it in formalin a minimum amount of time before processing (2 to 3 hours).    I've explained that the results she'll achieve under these conditions will be poor - but she insists.  Any other suggestions I may give to her?

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