[Histonet] Re: Pinning Specimens

Bob Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 12:20:15 CDT 2012

About pinning specimens so they fix flat: Margaret Horne notes the use
of dental wax. I've used it to make small "boats" for the rather
exacting procedure of pinning muscle biopsy specimens for electron
microscopy. Here a 1 to 2 mm bundle of longitudinal fibers has to be
gently stretched to its resting length, pinned in the "boat", and
promptly fixed in glutaraldehyde.

One technologist noted that she had a young pathologist who was "wet
behind the ears" and wanted to pin specimens, and was looking to the
older pathologists to bring him in line to The Way We've Always Done
It. I try to remain "wet behind the ears", though after nearly 50
years of occasionally pinning specimens I find myself a little dry.

We continue to lose skills in the gross room. Today I'm working with a
service that has almost no ability to handle calcified tissue - I need
to go to the hardware store and buy a hacksaw to replace the worn-out
Satterlee saw, which I think was gathered up off a Civil War

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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