[Histonet] RE: Hemisecting a fresh-frozen brain

Hilary Smith hsmith <@t> wakehealth.edu
Fri Feb 10 14:46:56 CST 2012

Thanks Brett - I was hoping that someone out there had done this.  If I screw up the cerebellum and brainstem it is no big deal as we are only looking at forebrain structures. This is very encouraging!

Thanks again,

-----Original Message-----
From: Connolly, Brett M [mailto:brett_connolly <@t> merck.com] 
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 3:40 PM
To: Hilary Smith; histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: Hemisecting a fresh-frozen brain


I have done this before.

Definitely warm to -20C (overnight) otherwise it will likely fracture. A non-serrated brain slicing autopsy knife works well...it is best to use a knife that has a big blade and a sturdy handle. You will need a little bit of downward pressure on the knife and a slow, short sawing motion to work your way through. Cutting through the cerebral midline won't be much of a problem, be careful with the cerebellum and brainstem. Too much pressure and cutting too fast is bad.

Good luck,

Brett M. Connolly, Ph.D.
Imaging Research Fellow
Merck & Co., Inc.
PO Box 4, WP-44K
West Point, PA 19486
brett_connolly <@t> merck.com
T- 215-652-2501
F- 215-993-6803


-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Hilary Smith
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 3:11 PM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Hemisecting a fresh-frozen brain

Hi everyone

I need to sagitally hemisect a fresh-frozen rhesus brain that has been stored at -80°C .  Does anyone have any advice on the best way to go about this?  I imagine warming it to about -20°C to reduce brittleness might be a good idea but I am not sure what my weapon of choice should be.  Can't use anything that will generate heat of course.  Will a non-serrated blade such as a tissue slicer blade do the trick at -20°C?  Or do I need to go to something like an ultrafine wire saw?  Or ultrafine hacksaw perhaps?  I welcome even the most outlandish suggestions!



Hilary Smith
Research Assistant
Neuroimaging Lab
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem,  NC 27157
Phone 336.716.8649
Fax 336.716.8689

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