[Histonet] Ground sections.

Gayle Callis gcallis <@t> montana.edu
Wed Aug 15 14:02:59 CDT 2007

If these are embedded in methyl methacrylate and very thick, you can 
superglue them to white plastic slides or even a glass slide.  You can wash 
them off with water, blot and let air dry before gluing.  If you wish, 
gently ultrasound them to remove the dirt, a bit of detergent (1 drop in 
500 mls water) then rinse with ultrasound and clean water.  If the sections 
want to curl, place them under smooth filter paper, and heavy weight on top 
to flatten.  Use a weight to mount the sections too unless you use 
immersion oil.

If the teeth are merely ground and not embedded at all, just soak them in a 
permanent mounting media (maybe some gradient mixtures with xylene/media) 
until the section is in the final thick media, then mount the section with 
more media. It will be messy and if the tooth is too thick, retraction of 
the media will occur.  Just back fill, or seal in some way to retain the 
media, prevent retraction due to evaporation.  We used to do this with hand 
ground, unembedded ground bone sections, and I still have them in my lab, 
the media a bit retracted but can be salvaged.  Paleontologists mount their 
ground sections in other gooey stuff, but I do not recall what it is, you 
may be able to find that in a publication or a paleontology lab at a nearby 

If there is still plastic surrounding the ground tooth section, do NOT use 
a xylene or solvent based mounting media.  You can view the section after 
gluing onto a slide by placing a 1 1/2 thick coverglass on top, then 
view.  It is possible to mount the coverglass with immersion oil, but it is 
messy for storage afterwards.  To view, just turn up the light so it 
diffuses well IF the section is on a white plastic slide (surface staining 
viewing) or you can sit your clear glass slide on a white paper and do the 
same thing.

If you use a solvent based mounting media, it will crack the plastic due to 
the softening of the PMMA by xylene.

Have fun!

At 10:39 AM 8/15/2007, you wrote:
>             I've just been asked by a colleague from the Dental School if I
>can mount some ground sections of teeth he's discovered at the back of a
>cupboard. Being a simple physiologist I've never dealt with this type of
>material so any hints and tips as to the technique I should use would be
>welcome? I'm scouring the books, but why re-invent the wheel.
>             Should I wash the sections to remove years of accumulated dust
>and in what, then air dry or dehydrate?
>             Mounting media, anything that's really recommended? I had
>thought of Entallin but I'm open to other suggestions.
>Dr. Ian Montgomery,
>I.B.L.S. Support Unit,
>Thomson Building,
>University of Glasgow,
>G12 8QQ.
>Histonet mailing list
>Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu

Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 173610
Bozeman MT 59717-3610

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