[Histonet] cadaveric bone

Jack Ratliff ratliffjack <@t> hotmail.com
Fri Aug 19 06:58:32 CDT 2011


My first suggestion to you is to de-wax the specimen and process into an MMA based resin containing a softener like DBP. Once polymerized you can simply take thin sections using tungsten-carbide knives. Make sure to infiltrate the specimen well with the resin solution prior to embedding. If you are unable to try this method, I would be happy to try this for you free of charge if you could send me the specimen.

Regarding further specimens of this type, again just process, infiltrate and embed in the MMA based resin without any prior wax or decalcification. If interrsted, you could also send me two of these fresh specimens that have not been decalcified or processed into wax and I could cut them for you as well for a proof of concept. I would process, infiltrate and embed one specimen in Acrylosin (MMA resin from Dorn & Hart Microedge) and with the other I have another method I try where I could cut the tissue without additional processing or embedding (similar I guess to cryotomy without the freezing process) at a minimum of 10 microns using a laser microtome! Yes, I said a laser microtome! :)

What do you say? Contact me back if you are interested and we can discuss the shipping details.

Best Regards,


Jack L Ratliff
Senior Histologist, BioMimetic Therapeutics
Chairman, Hard Tissue Committee - National Society for Histotechnology

On Aug 19, 2011, at 4:17 AM, Louise Renton wrote:

> Hi all - a somewhat morbid question for the weekend. A student in the
> anatomy dept came to me with wax embedded samlpes of demineralized
> bone from dissection cadavers. The bone is very flinty and difficult
> to section. Is this perhaps due to the preseravation/embalming process
> that the bodies undergo? Is there something I can do to alleviate this
> problem prior to processing?
> I have tried  dewaxing and furher demineralization, but the problem
> sems to be in the matrix itself--
> BTW, using my usual protocol I ahv been able to section elephant tusk
> - so I think the prob is the bone rather than what I am doing to it
> best love & haev a great weekend
> Louise Renton
> Bone Research Unit
> University of the Witwatersrand
> Johannesburg
> South Africa
> +27 11 717 2298 (tel & fax)
> 073 5574456 (emergencies only)
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