[Histonet] RE: use of microwaves

Rene J Buesa rjbuesa <@t> yahoo.com
Wed Oct 12 15:45:52 CDT 2005

I have used sand bath during some biochemistry procedures and I agree with you that they are great BUT (there is always a BUT) temperature regulation is somewhat tricky and will depend on the amount of sand and the condition of the heating elements. 
For HIER you will have to consider the following aspects:
1- it requires almost one half an hour to complete.
2- How much HIER solution are you going to use? If not enough it will probably evaporate
while in the sand bath after just a few minutes.
3- evaporation is prevented in the steamer because the environment is water vapor saturated
and the vapor phase is, lets say "compensated".
4- in the microwave oven you will limit evaporation because HIER is quicker (due to the effect of the microwaves on the bipolar molecules within the tissue, and this, along with heat, is
the fundament for the microwave oven).
You will have to do many tests to find out an ideal ratio volume/temperatureXtime for a HIER done in a sand bath.
The steamer is so simple to operate, and so consistent, that I personally would not try
the sand bath to do HIER.
This is just my opinion. Hope this will help!
Rene J.

"Pixley, Sarah (pixleysk)" <PIXLEYSK <@t> UCMAIL.UC.EDU> wrote:
Dear All:
I wondered if anyone that is currently using microwaves to heat samples
has considered using a sand dry-bath for heating? The molecular
biologists have all switched to those and they are really great. They
are just heaters with a well that you put a good quality sand in. They
can heat the sand up to 130 degrees centigrade. Then you stick your
sample in the sand. The heat is very consistent. You can have something
go to close to boiling almost instantly, without the muss and fuss of a
hot water bath (or a microwave). Aside from a few bits of sand getting
out, they are very civilized and clean. And they take up FAR less
counter space than a microwave. Just a thought, but it is from someone
who is not doing HIER. 

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