Preventing Tissue Sections From Falling/Coming Off Slides


TruBond Adhesive Microscope Slides

can help preventing sections from falling off slides




Why my section falling (coming) off slide?

How to prevent section from falling off slide?

Insufficient fixation or unfixed tissues tend to come off slides more easily.

Fix tissues longer to get completely fixation of tissues. 

Formaldehyde fixed frozen sections are more prone to falling off slides.


Try to dry slides for much longer time or use alternative fixation such as acetone or alcohol. 

Tissue sections tend to come off slides more often on regular slides (uncharged or uncoated).


Always use positively charged or coated slides for immunostaining.

You may just have had a bad batch of slides.


Replace with a new batch of slides.


Hand lotion or cream contaminating the waterbath.  Avoid hand lotion or cream contaminating waterbath by wearing gloves.

The disposable blades have oil on them.


Clean disposable blades with xylene.

Wrinkles presented in the sections during the initial mounting may contribute to problem for falling off sections.


Try to spread the sections out and mount the sections on slides with wrinkle free.

Paraffin sections may not be dried completely before placing in the oven.

Allow paraffin sections to air dry at least 30 minutes before placing in the oven at 56 C overnight.


Frozen sections may not be dried completely before fixation and immunostaining procedure. Allow frozen sections to air dry for at least 30 minutes before fixation and then air dry for another 30 minutes before immunostaining.

Antigen retrieval procedure can cause sections to come off slides, especially when EDTA (pH8.0) or Tris-EDTA (pH9.0) such high pH antigen retrieval solution is used.


Use low pH solution such as citrate buffer (pH6.0) antigen retrieval Solution to replace EDTA (pH8.0) or Tris-EDTA (pH9.0) retrieval solution if it is possible.

Distilled water alone may make sections come off slides easy. 

Always use buffer solution to wash or rinse slides. 


Bone (especially the cartilage) tends to fall off slides after HIER.


Try other alternative retrieval methods such as enzyme digestion.

Antigen retrieval devices may be trouble.


Try to use waterbath or steamer in stead of microwave or pressure cooker.

Plain water in waterbath for mounting paraffin sections.

Add some gelatin in waterbath for mounting paraffin sections.


If you have tried everything above and the problem persists.

Try gelatin coated slides and it has been working fairly well.


See also

Strategies for Preventing Detachment of Sections From Glass Slides