Re: wanted: disposable knife holder for Histostat 975C cryostat

From:Jon Moody

We're only interested in looking at the cartilage, but we leave a
small bit of bone on the specimen to preserve the calcified zone /
tide-mark.  The point of doing cryosections is to avoid the long
decalcification process usually needed for paraffin secti ons.  Our
specimens are pretty tiny, about 3 x 3 mm in cross-section; disposable
blades are readily able to cut the small amount of bone.  

Our bone/cartilage sections are neither perfect nor flat; we're
novices to begin with, and this is hard enough  for the experienced
technician!  Usually (not always) the bone remains intact but curls
out of the section, while the cartilage stays flat on the slide; after
cutting a section, if we flip the section top-side down with a brush,
then after capturing the section on a slide the bone will curl into
the slide instead of away from it.  Then after a couple of quick
washes in 70% ethanol the bone bit usually (not always) tends to relax
a little, at least enough not to interfere with the cartilage bit. =20

The Cyro-Jane sounds interesting; have you used it with bone/cartilage
or just bone sections?  We normally examine the cartilage bit in our
sections unstained under transmitted polarized light, so that if the
polymer adhesive used to attach the Cryo-Jane section to the slide is
birefringent it might interfere with our measurements.  Have you ever
looked at your Cryo-Jane sections using polarized light?  Also, do you
have any experience using the Gentle-Jane snap-freezing apparatus?

> Are you able to get sections of undecalcified bone/cartilage WITHOUT
> tearing of the section, and have a flat perfect section. Cartilage
> obviously is no problem but bone is going to be totally fragmented,
> obviously not flat nor intact.    Normally, undecalcified bone tears
to the
> point of no return and ruins disposable blade edge at each cut.=20
> carbide knives are the only way we can cut undecalcified bone frozen
> sections, plus using a special tape transfer (CryoJan e from
> check out the website.   
> I am going to be busy until Friday, an d haven't had a chance to dig
> dark spaces for the extra holder, have patience!! 
> When you use this holder you can only use high pr ofile disposable
> blades.  
> Gayle Callis
> Research Histopathology Supervisor
> Veterinary Molecular Biology - Marsh Lab
> Montana State University - Bozeman
> 19th and Lincoln St
> Bozeman MT 59717-3610
> 406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
> 406 994-4303 (FAX)
> email:

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