Histology - Epoxy resin

Embryos set in epoxy resin were serially sectioned at 2 micron thickness.


Embryo collection and preparation

The embryo was prepared for sectioning as described in Embryo collection - Epoxy resin


The embryo for sectioning was cut out with a small hacksaw, trimmed with a single edge razor blade and clamped in a vice type ultratome chuck. The chuck was fixed to the ultratome and the block face trimmed with a glass knife until it was almost at the embryo.
The glass knife was then replaced with a diamond knife with an 'in-house' plastic scoop/trough attached. Serial 2 micron sections were cut onto distilled water in the trough. Contact adhesive was used on the top and bottom edge of the block to allow ribbons of sections to be cut. Ribbons of sections were transferred to a pool of distilled water on a cleaned glass slide (2-3 per slide). The slide was placed on a hot plate at 70oC and the sections allowed to stretch out fully for 2 mins. The ribbons of sections were orientated on the slide and the water withdrawn with a fine tipped pastette.
The slide was dried vertically overnight at room temperature then heated on a hot plate at 120oC for 1 hr to adhere the sections to the slide prior to staining.

Floating out
microtome sectioning


The slides were stained with 1% Toluidine Blue in 1% Borax in distilled water in a coplin jar in a water bath at 60oC for 2-5 minutes. The slides were then rinsed in distilled water and allowed to air dry before mounting them in microscope oil with a coverslip.

Image Capture

After staining the slides were available for image capture