Re: Cryostat phenomenon

From:Gayle Callis <>

Happens all the time in my 'lack of humidity part of the world'.  It is
worse in winter than in summer, and the less the humidity on that
particular day, the worse the problem becomes.  

If I approach the section a tidge faster than others, the air currents will
create the huge leap onto a slide, often with a folded crumpled section to
show for it.  After a few sections, thing often settle down, just breathing
above open cryostat or moisture off my 'sweaty palms/fingers' must produce
enough moisture to help counteract the static charge or whatever causes the
problem.  I used to blow gently into cryostat chamber to produce the same
affect, warm moist air (have done this with paraffin sections too) but this
probably  considered poor technic with biohazardous materials, etc and
creating a potential aerosal.   

I always attributed the static charge to my electrifying personality rather
than nylons!

   At 08:54 AM 5/17/01 +0100, you wrote:
> Has anyone encountered a phenomenon that I occasionally get 
>with cryostat frozen sectioning. I assume it is due to static 
>electrical charges? the sections tend to "leap" from the knife edge 
>onto the slide, the slide may be some several centimeters from the 
>section/knife holder.
>There is no logic or consistency to this, irrespective of tissue, 
>fixation, temperature, type of slide; but if it is going to happen then 
>you can be sure it is when cutting a tiny piece of tissue where 
>every section is required! It will often disappear as suddenly as it 
>started, sometimes quite impressive when a section fly's several 
>cms. to the slide and occasionally lands flat and crease free! 
>Any idea's?Oh, and I don't wear nylons (not in work anyway).
>Terry Hacker,
>Medical Research Council,
>Oxfordshire, OX11 ORD
>01235 834393 x360
Gayle Callis
Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University - Bozeman
Bozeman MT 59717-3610

406 994-6367
404 994-4303 (FAX)

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