[Histonet] Cells Embedded in Collagen for Frozen Tissue Sectioning

Omer Richman orichman <@t> gmail.com
Mon Nov 13 13:19:00 CST 2006

Dear Histonet,

My PI has been embedding cancer cells in collagen over the past several
weeks. My job is to take the collagen bead (approx 1-1.5 cm in diameter),
embed it in OCT and get frozen sections for H&E staining. Unfortunately, I
have been having a very hard time finding the cells in the collagen in the
OCT block because there is little to no contrast between the two. On top of
the that, the collagen detaches itself from the OCT as it hits the blade
leaving me with a square section of OCT that is missing a circle in the
middle (presumably where the collagen and cells would be if I could see

I have gone through several full specimens and have come away with only a
slide or two where I managed to catch some cells. This sort of inconsistency
is obviously not acceptable and my resources in the pathology department
have come up dry. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of
experiment? Is there any way to stain the collagen/cells in such a way that
I could at least tell where the cells are in the OCT block so I'm not just
blindly cutting away? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to
everyone in advance.


Omer Richman
Research Technician
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Life Sciences Building Rm 004
Stony Brook, NY 11794

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