Re: drying slides?

From:Philip Oshel

If I may make one small comment on John's last paragraph, about 
drying coverslipped slides. Some (most?) of the clearing fluids meant 
to replace xylene, such as HistoClear, do not play nicely with 
Permount and similar mounting media, and require the use of special 
mounting media for coverslipping, like HistoMount. Do *not* dry 
HistoMount and similar mountants at elevated temperatures! Only dry 
these at room temperature. Drying these mounting media at higher 
temperatures causes them to shrink and pull in nasty airbubbles from 
the side of the coverslip. I know HistoMount from experience, I'm not 
sure who else does this. Weights on the coverslips also help.


>On Thu, 9 May 2002, P. Emry wrote:
>>  I let my slides air dry rather than putting them on a warmer.
>>  Is there some benefit to warmer-drying over air?
>IMHO No.  Rapid drying undissolves air from the film
>of water under the sections, and the resulting
>minibubbbles (easily seen at low magnification under
>the sections on the dried slides) result in bumpy
>and detached sections. For disastrous slides, dry them
>above the melting point of the wax. Melting the wax
>is OK only AFTER all the water beneath the sections
>has gone.
>I've never used a slide-dryer that evaporates water with
>the slides in a vertical plane. Universities can't afford
>such things. The principle is good, and people fortunate
>enough to have such equipment tell me that it works well.
>If you're stuck with hotplates, keep one at 40C for
>drying before staining, and one at 45C for stained
>and coverslipped sections.
>John A. Kiernan
>Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
>The University of Western Ontario
>London,  Canada   N6A 5C1

Philip Oshel
Supervisor, BBPIC microscopy facility
Department of Animal Sciences
University of Wisconsin
1675 Observatory Drive
Madison,  WI  53706 - 1284
voice: (608) 263-4162
fax: (608) 262-5157 (dept. fax)

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