[Histonet] Re: Cooling paraffin blocks with ice

Hobbs, Carl carl.hobbs <@t> kcl.ac.uk
Sun Sep 30 12:27:49 CDT 2012

Nice one, Joelle.

Good points....
I thank you for that sophisticated paper!

Yep, wax is not JUST wax.
It indeed has a crystalline, sophisticated  structure.
Yes, cutting good sections depends upon temp/speed of cutting/angle of knife/additives/effectiveness of processing.
May be more variables ...( eg: sharpness of blade, humidity)
( Them crystals "slide" over each other, with heat.....thus COLD tends to minimize compression of section: ironically, so does heat: it momentarily expands the crystals....)

I recall a paper by Edward Brain...in the 70s....proposing the addition of naphthalene to Pwax to improve penetration/cutting.
It worked very well....then we realised that this additive was...NOT an appropriate one;-)
Them were the days when we had Tea in the Lab and....smoked an occasional fag, next to the dewaxing xylene ;-)
Interestingly, there have been no reports of xylene-related fires/cancers in the ~ 100 years of xylene use.
Or, am I wrong ?



Carl Hobbs
Histology Manager
Wolfson CARD
School of Biomedical Sciences
Kings College London
Guys Campus
Tel: 020 78486813
Fax: 020 78486816
020 78486813

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