Re: hard tissue
This reply begs many questions. Here are a few.
1. Is there a missing bracket somewhere in "(after
decalcification with a domestic fabric softener ..."?
(Yes I know, it's nit-picking; the right bracket
after "decalcification" got lost in the aether...)
2. Which fabric softeners are surfactants?
3. How can a fabric softener (or a surfactant)
improve "the dehydration of the tissue?"
Equilibration with 100% alcohol must surely
replace all the water in any object. Dehydration
has to be complete for paraffin embedding. Where
is the room for "improvement?"
4. Can you explain, "... bone used to swell on the
watery clearing demonstrating that there was
inadequate processing." Every dehydrated object,
be it a walnut or a 5um or a 100um section, swells
when in contact with water.
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London, Canada N6A 5C1
Gerard Spoelstra wrote:
> We treat all our our hard tissue including bone(after decalcification with
> a domestic fabric softener prior to processing. We leave the tissue for a
> hour in 1-5% fabric softener. This works very well. The problem with hard
> tissue is that you need much longer processing times to get adequate
> paraffin infiltration. The softener acts as a surfactant improving the
> dehydration of the tissue. In the time before we started to use softener,
> bone used to swell on the watery clearing demonstrating that there was
> inadequate processing. Its possible that if you used the surfactant for all
> tissue other than hard tissue you may be able to bring down the processing
> times drastically, but I haven't tried this.
> Gerard Spoelstra
> Medical Scientist
> Veterinary Histology
> Murdoch University
> Western Australia
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