Sandwich Explants

Sandwiches consist of abutting the deep, inner surfaces of two identical tissues together, such that the epithelial sheets covering each half heal across the exposed edges, forming a physiological barrier surrounding the deep cells. The two components are excised and their inner surfaces apposed, the quicker the better, since delay will result in curling of the two halves, which makes apposition difficult. Dabs of silicone high vacuum grease are placed on both ends of a precut rectangular coverslip, considerably larger than the explant, and the coverslip is rested on the grease, straddling the explant and some distance above it. Then, the coverslip is tapped with a forceps, bringing it down on top of the sandwich, pressing the two components together lightly. Healing should occur in 15-20 min, and then the explant should be removed. The high vacuum grease does not appear to be overtly toxic, but the less time the explant spends near it, the better.

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