[Histonet] shaker

Monfils, Paul PMonfils <@t> Lifespan.org
Thu Mar 8 09:48:11 CST 2007

I do all my decalcification in a large glass beaker with a stirrer. To keep the specimens or cassettes from contacting the stir bar I use a device I made from an empty polyethylene chemical jar.  I cut off the bottom of the jar, about an inch from the bottom, so I had sort of a shallow bowl.  Then I cut large slots around the periphery, extending from near the center to near the edge, but not cutting through the edge.  I did the cutting with a scalpel heated in a bunsen burner, working in a hood. A bit tedious but it was a one-time effort, and worth the trouble.  I place my large disc-shaped stir bar (Nalgene StarHead 2.25", available from Fisher) in the bottom of a 2,000 ml beaker, place my device (which is almost as large in diameter as the beaker) inverted over the stir bar, and place a weight (a glass coplin jar lid) on top of the lightweight device to hold it in place. Then place the beaker on a magnetic stirrer, fill with decal solution, add the specimens. I run the stirrer at medium high speed, and it creates a continuous current of decal fluid around the specimens. I have found decalcifying this way to be more efficient than simply allowing the specimens to soak in a stagnant solution.

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