[Histonet] Microtome alignment

WILLIAM DESALVO wdesalvo.cac <@t> hotmail.com
Tue Aug 17 19:05:25 CDT 2010

Since you have older microtomes, I suggest using an "alignment block" at each microtome instead of purchasing the alignment tools. The tools can be found on the web  ttp://www.grale.com.au/products/view/804 , but they can be expensive (as much as $700.00 each). If you have more than one manufacturer for your microtomes, you will need to purchase one for each brand.
Try using your largest embedding mold and make a blank block for each microtome. This can bee done first thing each morning. Use the block to align the chuck each morning before cutting. If you see drift throughout the day, add one or more checks during the day. Making a fresh block each day gives you a good standard and keeps the variation down.
I also suggest you look at your embedding method and make sure you have a standardized procedure for all tissue types for orientation of tissue and exact placement in the mold. Embed your tissue on one plane with as little paraffin as possible on the bottom of the mold. Reducing variation at embedding will greatly assist you in reducing the amount of "facing" required to start producing sections and also reduce the need to align the chuck to the block/tissue. 

William DeSalvo, B.S., HTL(ASCP)
Chair, NSH QCC
Prodcution Manager, Sonora Quest Laboratories

> From: Sharon.Davis-Devine <@t> carle.com
> To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2010 14:16:26 -0500
> Subject: [Histonet] Microtome alignment
> We are having a continuing issue of too much tissue being cut off when facing off a block for recuts. We have tried a couple of different methods for aligning our microtomes without much success. Does anyone out there have any advice on how to properly align them and what tool to use? Also, how often do you perform this re-alignment? The majority of our microtomes are older so more wear and tear and things move out of place more often. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
> Sharon Davis-Devine, CT (ASCP)
> Cytology-Histology Supervisor
> Carle Foundation Hospital
> Laboratory and Pathology Services
> 611 West Park Street
> Urbana, Illinois 61801
> 217-383-3572
> sharon.davis-devine <@t> carle.com
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