[Histonet] Floaters

Rene J Buesa rjbuesa <@t> yahoo.com
Fri Dec 8 14:52:47 CST 2006

  If you go Histonet archieves you will find that this topic has been discussed several times in the past.
  Nevertheless, here are some "facts":
  1-as a general rule a floater (i.e. a piece of tissue different to the processed specimen that "should not be there"), is produced during cassetting. Either because the forceps are dirty/contaminated with small pieces of "foreign" tissue or because the cassette opens in the container where small pieces of other tissue are present. Cleanliness and care are the solution, attention to detail. You can know comes from the block if the floater in the section is also present in the block.
  Floaters on the block USUALLY are "created" during embedding, when contaminated forceps are used or when the hot wells for them are not clean enough. Solution: clean your forcets, or even better, burn the paraffin in their tips with one electric heater (those used in microbiology to sterilize inncoulating loops). Clean the well thoroughly after finishing embedding (use  a Q-tip and a plastic dropper to suck all the remnants in the well).
  2-a floater in the stained slideand not in the block comes from the water bath where some fragment of a previous section was not removed from the water bath. The solution is to pass a Kimwipe over the water bath surface to catch any remnant from the just cut block from the
  it and prevent being "fished" with the next section.
  Again, care and attention to detail will eliminate this problem.
  Hope this will help you! Ah, another thing, floaters have happened to all HTs (no matter what they can tell you; it is a case of "being there, done that!")
  René J.

Sunilda Valladares-Silva <sv18 <@t> columbia.edu> wrote:
  Since we are on the topic of paraffin...I have a questions. Does anyone 
have experience with floaters on routine slides? Floaters from the 
paraffin as well as other specimens?

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