[Histonet] calcified cartilage sectioning

From:mason dean

I'm a graduate student at UC Irvine studying calcification of  
cartilage in sharks and rays.  This type of cartilage has long been  
equated with mammalian hyaline cartilage, but it's starting to look  
(from our biochemical and mechanical properties data) like it might  
not be that simple.  Probably the oddest gross morphological feature  
is that the uncalcified phase (which is similar to hyaline in many  
ways) is covered by a "bark" of calcified, interlocking tiles.  This  
makes for an abrupt change in material properties!

I'm interested in cross-sectioning undecalcified large (~2-4 cm  
squared) samples, but the more I read the more it seems that may be a  
pipe dream!  Most people are encouraging me to reduce my samples to  
~1-2mm, but I would lose an important global understanding of the  
skeletal element.  I'm running out of options, but saw lots of useful  
histonet postings on hard tissue sectioning and thought I might drop  
an email.  I'd love any ideas/thoughts you have on my options, but am  
still very much a novice so bear with me!


Mason Dean
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Irvine
321 Steinhaus Hall; Irvine, CA 92697-2525
ph: 949.824.4830; fax: 949.824.2181
e-mail: mdean@uci.edu
website: http://grad.bio.uci.edu/ecoevo/mdean

"recuperation is like spring:
dormancy + vitality collide."
-gretel ehrlich

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