[Histonet] floaters

Gayle Callis gcallis <@t> montana.edu
Mon Dec 11 10:56:25 CST 2006

Yes, we all have had the problem at one time or another - excellent points 
about friable tissue.  I think one reply on Histonet, the tech used 
newpaper to skim the waterbath surface.  Make sure the paper is not overly 
fibrous paper, you don't need shreds of paper on top of your sections either.

One of the most annoying floaters comes from the microtomist. Epidemal 
cells from the skin exfoliate into the waterbath especially when you allow 
fingers to dip into the water, and then stain very nicely with the H&E, 
generally perched on your beautiful section.  Grip the slides on the edge 
or very ends to avoid this.   Pencil "lead" or graphite exfoliates black 
blobs on tissue sections, use a slightly harder lead, buy a slide labeler, 
or use a permanent pen designed for labeling glass slides/cassettes.

René brings up a good point about dirty forceps/heated forcep wells on 
embedding centers.  At one clinical lab, we wiped the forceps  between each 
block before returning to the well, and cleaned the wells daily.  We still 
saw the annoying skin cells though, so learn to not go 'fingerdipping" in 
the water bath.

Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 173610
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-6367
406 994-4303 (FAX)

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