Re: [Histonet] Mouse and rat injured spinal cord - polyester wax

Hi Rebecca,

Many, many years ago I used 37 degree C MPT polyester wax. There are
several major problems using the stuff. Key one is temperature. Blocks and
knife were kept in the fridge, with both brought out just prior to use -we
used a Cambridge rocker which meant transfer of knife to and from the
fridge was easy. In the summer in our lab which had no air conditioning,
there are minutes of cutting time available before the block and kife warms
up and sectioning has to stop. One paper I read partly overcame this narrow
curring window by using a flower sieve packed with dry ice suspended above
the microtome. our resources did not stretch that far in those days (mid
70's). Once you have your sections, we had to use a starch based adhesive
which was added to the slide and sections floated directly onto the pool of
adesive. The trick was to ensure one end of the ribbon overlapped the end
of the slide so that after the short period of time the sections took to
expand and de-crease, the slide could be tipped allowing the adhesive to
run away leaving a nice ribbon on the slide. The rest was easy!!

Having read all of this, it comes as no surprise that my advice is to try
every other option for getting what you want first.

Best of luck.


                      Rebecca Nishi                                                                                                  
                      Sent by:                               To:                                                  
                      histonet-bounces@lists.utsouth         cc:                                                                                     
                                        Subject: [Histonet] Mouse and rat injured spinal cord - polyester wax                   
                      04/05/2004 16:19                                                                                                               

Has anyone used polyester wax embedding for mouse or rat injured spinal
cord. We would like to use a low melt wax instead of paraffin or plastic to
preserve some of the antigens we are interested in, but we also are
interested in doing stereology, so we want consistent and a complete set of
sections. Also, the injured area poses many problems for sectioning.

Does anyone have any tips for cutting and staining with this wax? I am
to use a rotary microtome.

Thanks Rebecca

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