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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Snap-Cap Method of Fixing and Dehydrating Dissected Tissue for Scanning Electron Microscopy

item Meola, Shirlee
item Pendleton, Michael

Submitted to: Texas Society for Electron Microscopy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 10, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: An innovative technique has been developed for processing dissected tissue (both vertebrate and invertebrate) for viewing with a scanning electron microscope. This technique, involving samples pinned inside small plastic- capped glass vials, permits stabilization of tissue elements and prevents degradation of tissue through the numerous steps of preparation that are required for analysis with a scanning electron microscope. The new procedure is very effective in preserving the original orientation or integrity of the preparation.

Technical Abstract: This report describes an innovative technique for the preparation of dissected material for scanning electron microscopy that prevents the disruption of tissue during fixation and dehydration. Insect pins attach dissected tissue to the snap-on plastic caps of Wheaton sample vials so that when the vials are inverted, chemicals required for fixation and dehydration could infiltrate the tissue. Tissue can be critical point dried while still attached to jthe vial caps. Dried tissue may be placed on scanning electron microscope mounts for observation using a scanning electron microscope. This procedure produces minimal disruption of delicate tissue samples.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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