Re: microwaving slides

In a message dated 3/5/2003 11:06:59 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> Hi Deb
> I'm probably the one person you found in the archives who was strongly
> against microwaving slides.  As you pointed out, the paraffin, which is
> non-polar, is not heated by the microwave energy.  The microwaves heat, and
> quickly evaporate, any water.  The microwave energy also heats the glass
> slides ang glass coverslips and the tissue sections themselves.  The problem
> is that most commercial microwaves put out much more microwave energy than
> you need to do this job (you are dealing with very little water) and this
> excess energy can convert to heat damage to your sections (drying
> artifacts).  You can set your microwave to lower power settings, but all you
> get in that case are shorter bursts of full power microwave energy,
> separated by periods of no power.  You can use a water load in the microwave
> cavity to divert some of the excess microwave energy away from your
> sections, but this will also change the microwave standing wave pattern
> within the cavity, creating hot and cold areas.
> All and all, since there are very efficient slide dryers available on the
> market using convection drying, such as the one sold by Mopec, I don't see
> the advantage of using a microwave for this application, 
> given the potential
> risks.
> best regards,
> Steven Slap
> **********************************************
> Marketing Manager/Microwave Product Specialist
> Hacker Instruments & Industries, Inc.
> **********************************************
> --ahhhhhh a very cogent answer... 

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