Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders

Histology Core

Resources

Learning Lunches

The Histology Core regularly holds interactive Learning Lunches to update users on the latest tools and techniques for musculoskeletal histology. Boxed lunches are provided. Recent topics are listed below (click to access slides).

Upcoming Learning Lunch topics:

  • Thursday, February 25 2021 at 12pm:
    • Eiki Koyama: "Advanced in situ RNA analysis for mineralized tissues"
  • Summer 2021:
    • Optimizing Tissue Fixation for Different Musculoskeletal Tissues and Applications

Users are encouraged to submit ideas for topics to the core directors.

Protocols

Tips and Tricks for Better Histology Results

How do I reduce wrinkles when cutting plastic sections?

Plastic sections with some wrinkles is a very common problem, and one that results in poor imaging quality at low magnifications. Here are some useful tips to minimize wrinkles:

  • Thicker sections will have more wrinkles. Try cutting sections as thin as possible (4 to 6 µm), as this will be much easier to keep flat when placed into the alcohol.
  • Leave the sections in 70% ethanol for 7 to 10 minutes compared to the usual 3 minutes.
  • Press the section using your finger under the plastic film evenly and for several seconds.
  • Roll sections lightly and carefully 3 to 5 times on the slide.
How do I stop plastic sections from falling off during staining?

Plastic sections have 20-30% possibility of falling off the slides during routine staining, even though you have used slides coated with the 2% gelatin.  Is there anything we can do now to stop or reduce the sections coming off? Here are some useful tips to prevent this from happening:

  • Use a higher concentration of gelatin (3-4%) to coat your slides.
  • Reducing the washing time, especially for the alcohol solutions.
  • Don't start staining immediately following removal from baking in the 24°C oven. Leave them at room temperature for a few days.
  • Be sure to transfer the slides very gently between staining steps.

Useful Links

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