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Author Topic: Paraffin Sectioning Problem  (Read 5990 times)

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Offline Nick101

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Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« on: November 29, 2010, 01:15:40 PM »
I'm having problems sectioning Paraffin blocks. Embedded are mice brains fixed with Acetic Acid/Alcohol and I am cutting at 8um. I have never had a problem sectioning before and I am not new at this. However, starting about a month ago, every time I would try to cut the blocks, the sections would stick back on the block as the block was moving back up past the blade. I have tried everything from testing out newly embedded to 10 years ago embedded blocks, adjusted to angle of the blade all the way from min to max and increasing/decreasing the thickness (although that's pointless as we need a specific thickness of sections).

And like I said, this problem only began about a month ago. I am thinking that there may be a problem with the microtome itself as it's the last option I can think of. Hopefully someone here may have encountered this before and has some advice?

Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« on: November 29, 2010, 01:15:40 PM »

Offline excalibur

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Re: Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 08:28:25 PM »
It could be static electricity. Increase humidity in the winter months, as heating dries the air.
I cut brain at room temp and do not soak.
Clean oil off of disposable blades before use, oil can cause no ribbon to form.
Use a brush to hold the section down as it comes off the blade until a ribbon begins to form.
Paula Keene Pierce, HTL(ASCP)HT
Excalibur Pathology, Inc.
5830 N Blue Lake Dr.
Norman, OK 73069
405-759-3959
www.excaliburpathology.com

Offline gula

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Re: Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 12:17:46 PM »
Is the "retraction-function" switched on?

Offline Nick101

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Re: Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 01:46:15 PM »
I don't think it's static as it is really sticking firmly to the block on the way up. I'll try the brush method you suggest though, as well as attempt to humidify the room. That seems the most likely cause considering it does correlate to the time the heating comes on in the building. also, I do not use oil on the blade to begin with so there is none to wipe off.

As for the retraction-function, I'm not exactly sure what that is. Would you be able to explain?

Offline Nick101

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Re: Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 04:40:00 PM »
In case you mean an electronic retraction, our microtome is mechanical (leitz 1512).

Offline excalibur

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Re: Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 09:23:25 PM »
If you use disposable blades, they come with a small amount of oil on them to prevent them from sticking together in the dispenser and prevent rust.
Paula Keene Pierce, HTL(ASCP)HT
Excalibur Pathology, Inc.
5830 N Blue Lake Dr.
Norman, OK 73069
405-759-3959
www.excaliburpathology.com

Offline Nick101

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Re: Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 01:29:42 PM »
Well I don't know what I did, but I somehow managed to fix the problem. I did wipe off the blade with xylenes so maybe that helped get rid of the oil and maybe even solved the problem. I'll see when I use the next blade. I found out I am not really allowed to humidify the room as there are other people doing experiments in there. It may have helped that there were a few people in the room heating/humidifying it naturally.

Re: Paraffin Sectioning Problem
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 01:29:42 PM »