Artifacts potentially introduced in water bath:
- Bubbles collect on the bottom of water bath and may release and become trapped under sections.
- Remove bubbles before using water bath.
- Tissue cross contamination between blocks.
- Water must be changed daily and the bath wiped clean.
- Surface of water must be cleaned between ribbons with lint free wipes, such as Kimwipes®.
- Epithelial cells from histotechnologist will collect in water
- Wear gloves during microtomy.
- Don’t lean over water bath, skin cells will fall into water bath.
- Change water daily to prevent bacterial and fungal growth, and skim surface with Kimwipes® frequently.
- Parched earth and tissue separation artifacts in sections
- Flotation bath is too hot, adjust temperature.
- Tissue left on water bath for too long or stretched too much.
- Fatty tissue and under processed tissue may start to dissolve on warm water bath.
Can be applied to slides or water bath to stick sections to slides.
- Bath adhesives added to water - all of which can contaminate water with bacteria
- Adhesives added to slides - some will leave background staining artifact
- Albumin with glycerin
- Poly-L-lysine - good for frozen sections of fixed tissue, microwave staining, and immunoenzyme techniques
- Chromium potassium sulfate - good for frozen sections of fixed tissue
- Aminoalkylsilane - preferred for in situ hybridization studies
When working with ribbons on a flotation bath, a few tools are helpful in assisting the sections onto the slides. In the following pages we will address a variety of common instruments and tools used during the process of microtomy.