squeeze bottles/painful finger joints

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From:Gayle Callis <uvsgc@msu.oscs.montana.edu>
Date:Tue, 11 May 1999 15:45:14 -0600

Those nasty little squeeze bottles are getting to me also.  I have 
begun to tell vendors, starting with Vector (their small substrate 
bottles are the worse, extremely hard to squeeze, and particularly when
you just remove them from the refrig).  Using anything like this is
often grounds for changing suppliers just to avoid pain.
They also have bottles, as do many other vendors, Dako's come to 
mind, that are much easier to use, softer sided AND you can see into the

The smaller the bottle, it seems, more force is needed to
squeeze.  I must hand it to Vector on their new NovaRed substrate for HRP,
they have put the volume of one drop (for their bottles)  at 45 ul.  I would
rather pipette than squeeze, and can use the other hand to push plungers,
and now have a full set of very good pipettes.   Maybe the vendors will supply
volume per drop for their particular kits. 

I also advise those using pipettes to look at new automated electronic designs 
just demo'd an Eppendorf, a lovely instrument that uses a side tip ejector
which uses all fingers, like squeezing a tennis ball.  It was less tiring
to use.  Pricey, but worth the money in the long run, there are others
out there, ask for a demo.  It also helps to not do a pipettor mix, 
aspirate/dispense several times, a vortex mixer replaced that method and 
with fewer bubbles1

Hopefully vendors are seeing this, and help us out.  Dropper bottles are
nice and convenient, but contribute to the repetitive motion syndrome.
When I find a squeeze bottle I like, I recycle it into usage for other 
things, like mixing the substrates and having a softer squeeze experience
(definitely a leading statement!).

I think we also need to rethink and scrutinize how we do some things,
microtoming with wider handles on m'tomes (build them up with thick wrap),
and not use forceps to separate sections on a waterbath, helped me.

For those who do hand held PMMA ground sections, arise, go on strike and
make your boss buy a grinder, with a head to hold the section.  You will be
in osetoarthritis city before your time if you don't, have the fingerjoints
to prove it. 

Enough said about this painful subject.

Gayle Callis

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