[Histonet] acid-cleaned slides --a walk down memory lane.


Renee--a short history of slides in histology....may want to save it for happy hour. Of course there are members on our 'net who can take this story farther back but in the interest of time:
  Long before you probably knew there was such a thing as a Histologist, slides came to us in boxes full of dust, dirt and oil deposited by the process of breaking them into slides, etc.  These were the days of diamond pens, steel knives and there weren't such a thing as 'frost' slides, coverslippers or slide printers other than the techs who didn't write in cursive!  We used to acid clean all of our slides before use (usually an acid alcohol or aqueous acid rinse--depending on oil/finger oil contamination--followed by lots of dH2O rinsing & a drying oven).  This was before many advancements in our science in the days when you had your morning coffee on TOP of your microtome and albumin was the adhesive of choice.
  Slide production improved, then came frosted glass tops and then PAINTED colored tops we could use out of the box!!!  This was AWESOME.  In the late 70s/early '80s someone (anyone know who came up with this?) figured how poly-L-lysine could be used in solution to charge the surface of a slide without interfering with staining the way albumin did. We cleaned our slides again, to prepare them for dipping in poly-L-lysine!  What a marvelous thing!
  Now with incredible high-tech production methods, there are all sorts of specialty slides available, made more consistently than we could ever produce by hand.  Our time is saved and the products WORK, leaving time once in a while for a trip to the break room for coffee (most labs still run on ample supplies of coffee and chocolate.)  If you were to acid clean any of these treated products, you'd likely remove what you've paid so dearly to obtain--a slide designed to grab and hold on to that tissue!!
  I didn't attend this year's NSH (disappointing but no one to hold down the fort) so perhaps I missed something and have dated myself unnessecarily.  (Waiting with anticipation for Joe's comments on histo-dating :) )  I WOULD like to hear if there is anyone who used to make 2x2 mounts for slide conference still out there??!! LOL!
  Hope this helps--sorry if it didn't.

Cheryl Kerry, HT(ASCP) 
Full Staff Inc. 
Staffing the AP Lab by helping one Tech at a time. 
281.883.7704 c 
281.852.9457 o 

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