[Histonet] Sliding vs. Sledge Microtome

Gayle Callis gcallis <@t> montana.edu
Mon Mar 28 13:53:04 CST 2005

  Took a look at Leica's sliding microtomes,  they use the terms sliding 
and sledge interchangeably with these LARGE sliding microtomes.  One can 
use these for large whole specimen sectioning i.e. prostates, eyes, or bone 
work, and in case of the SM2400 - wood products industry.  It seems the 
sledge (aka sled) can either hold a blade and go sliding to a block OR the 
sledge can hold a block to go sliding to the blade.

The manually operated model Leitz 1500 now known as an Leica SM2400 sliding 
microtome. On the latter they talk about a sledge locking device on the 
"sled" (definition of sledge!) part of the microtome where the specimen is 

The Leica SM2500 (aka Polycut) sliding microtome, in conjunction with its 
use with an an ultramiller, also referred to as a sledge microtome in their 
description of this instrument.    Once again it is the sample (commonly a 
methylmethacrylate embedded calcified bone block clamped onto a sledge for 
sectioning by a stationary tungsten carbide blade OR a milled by a 
stationary ultramiller.).   I have seen Polycuts inside cryochambers and 
there are even bigger, pricier cryostats available - one we considered for 
whole mouse cryosectioning but the $200,000 plus price tag and huge size 
were limiting factors.

Leica has a  third sliding microtome with blade moving to the sample, or at 
least that is what I could deduce from reading their description of 
instrument operation.

Go to LeicaMicrosystem website, specifically 
http://www.histo-solutions.com/website/sc_hbu.nsf and look at their 
sliding/sledge microtomes.

We never felt any one of our sliding microtomes was any safer than the 
other.  They required great concentration to operate preferrably behind 
closed doors and no sudden startle factors/distractions.  Both our sliding 
microtomes were superbly capable of finger amputation.

  At 10:48 AM 3/28/2005, you wrote:
>Your definition conforms to what I have seen, that sliding means moving 
>blade, and sledge means moving tissue.  However, I do not think there is 
>any functional difference.  They can be used for all the same 
>applications, are both grouped under the category "sliding 
>microtome".  Does anybody in histoland who has used both feel they have 
>different applications?  There is  a clear safety difference, but the 
>tissue doesn't care which moves.
>Charles W.  Scouten, Ph.D.
>5918 Evergreen Blvd.
>St. Louis, MO 63134
>Ph: 314 522 0300
>FAX  314 522 0377
>cwscouten <@t> myneurolab.com
>-----Original Message-----
>From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu 
>[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of 
>Traczyk7 <@t> aol.com
>Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 5:20 PM
>To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
>Subject: [Histonet] Sliding vs. Sledge Microtome
>Help me out here.
>What is the generally accepted distinction between a sliding and a sledge
>microtome?  It seems to me that the terms get used interchangeably.   In my
>book, a "sliding" microtome has a fixed specimen holder and the 
>knife  slides back and forth on a slide way.  It is used for routine or 
>frozen  sectioning of samples.  A "sledge" microtome has a fixed blade and 
>the  specimen is moved, either manually or motorized.  The general 
>application  is for hard samples such as bone and in some material 
>science  applications.
>Any comments can be sent to me directly if you would like.
>Dorothy Murphy Traczyk
>Hacker Instruments & Industries Inc.

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