Re: [Histonet] Help on Teared tissues

From:Gayle Callis

Tearing of sections can happen for many reasons, but probably a dull knife
or a knife that has knicks and gouges on its sharp edge.  Change the knife
often, disposable knife blades are far nicer for this reason, move to sharp
non-defective edge and keep brushes or forceps, whatever you use to pick up
sections off the blade - AWAY FROM THAT EDGE.  Paraffin buildup on back of
knife and holder is a possibility.  Learn to clean a knife properly, use a
solvent to remove paraffin, and wipe and away from the edge rather than go
over it with any type of guaze or tissue. Xylene tends to harden the tissue
a bit more.  There has been a great deal of discussion on sectioning
problems on Histonet, do a search of the Histonet Archives to see what has
been discussed in the past.

Are all your screws, knife holder settings tight?  Microtomes can have
problems and sneak up on you when you least expect it.    

Improper processing may be a factor, but it is more likely due to
overexposure to solvents rather than increase time, or not enough paraffin

If you put out exactly how you process your tissue, the processing schedule
and WHAT tissues you are working with, Histonetters could help you more.
Some tissues are more susceptible to friable, torn sections and are you
working with animal tissues? If so, what species? Give us a bit more
information please. 

At 08:28 PM 11/7/2003 +0000, you wrote:
>Hello all,
>Could someone give me the various reasons why tissues are torn on slides. In 
>my case I doubt that this is due to the microtome. Is processing in parafin 
>a possibility? Maybe longer times in 100% alchool, Xylen and then parafin?
>Julien De Souza.
>The new MSN 8: advanced junk mail protection and 2 months FREE*  
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Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology 
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 173610
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
406 994-4303 (FAX)

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