1. Sections fragment during decompression. Inadequate fixation, dehydration, or infiltration—reassess size of block or processing times. Section left to decompress for too long or at too high a temperature—take more care when sections decompress.
2. Sections compress too much, and do not regain original block dimensions. Knife blunt—shift to new area of knife or change knife. Block temperature too cold or too warm—alter Pelcool setting.
3. Section exhibits chatter. Knife angle wrong—check angle is set to 5/6°. Loose component—check security of knife holder, knife, and block.
4. Examination of stained sections reveals wrinkles. Decompression inadequate— increase time or temperature to allow sections to decompress optimally.
5. Sections fail to ribbon. Room temperature too high—turn on air conditioning or seek alternative venue. Block poorly trimmed—use a sharp blade to retrim and align sides of the block.
6. Sections do not adhere to slide. Sections dried onto slide too briefly—dry sections overnight. Sections not mounted on either an adhesive solution or a coated slide— check mounting solution is 1% gelatin or that slides are coated as intended. Proteinase is contaminating the diluent—use fresh diluent (bacteria grow readily in warm diluent!).
Was this article helpful?