[Histonet] Cutting undecalcified bone

Stephen Peters M.D. petepath <@t> yahoo.com
Thu Jun 2 12:17:59 CDT 2005

I have experience cutting frozens on undecacified bone specimens for routine surg path 
cases using conventional technique but have no experience with the tape transfer system.
 I routinely use disposible low profile blades which in not optimum for bone. I imagine a stronger high profile blade or knife will work better. My success has varied with the hardness of the bone. Trebecular bone coming from older patients can cut fairly easily porvided the blade 
is sharp, and the section is taken with a fluid continuous motion. The result is a surprisingly
intact section. The harder the bone ( typically the younger the patient ) there will be 
more damage to the blade in each pass.  The sections will be streaked and 
splitting requiring one or more blade changes by time I get a resonable section. It is quite a juggling act.
Cutting hard cortical bone is often very frustrating and very difficult to get any resonable section.  From what you describe as bubbles, I am guessing  you are getting sections of bone 
thicker than you are hoping for and as a result when you roll it out, the thicker bone pieces 
are protecting the rest of the section from rolling. Often the first section of any tissue will 
be considerably thicker than those that follow after a few fluid turns of the wheel. If you are 
not letting a few pass your first section may be considerably thicker and as a result will 
shatter more and create thicker trabeculae which may be leading to your problem.
 The equivalent using conventional technique will give me a section that my coverslip will not
 lie flat against the slide and my mounting medium will not spread.
I look foreward to other peoples experience on this subject.  

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