Frozen Muscle biopsy

Hello to all,
      Recently we have been experiencing problems with freeze artifact.  Considering part of the problem is having a new lab aide flash freezing the muscle, I still looked through the archives of the histonet and found some interesting reading.  Particularly, using talc powder on top of the muscle before flash freezing to help prevent freeze artifact.  Does anyone else do this?  If so, what specific kind of talk powder?  Should muscle tissue come to room temperature before flash freezing?  Does muscle tissue within the gum trag freeze differently and contain more freeze artifact than tissue sticking out above the mounting medium?  Would using talc powder create any kind of artifact in and of itself?
      Another question I have is concerning the trichrome stain for muscle biopsies.  There are times when the tissue sections looks bright red around much of the edges of the stained tissue. Sometimes it is overpowering with most of the tissue section being unreadable.  As I understand it, formaldahyde exposure can cause this.  One of the doctors also said it could be cutting artifact (not using a clean, sharp blade).           
      Any thoughts, help and comments are appreciated.

Deb King
Sacramento, CA    

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