Tests have been made on the amount of electrification that 1s present when tissues are sectioned with a rotary microtome. An aluminum foil electroscope with carefully controlled conditions gave the following results. Radium, ultra-violet radiation, and spark discharges lowered the electrification to a negligible amount. Grounding the microtome, or draping it with Christmas tree tinsel had no measureable effect. Humidification of the surrounding air in several tests lowered the amount of electrification, but was too inconvenient to be practical. The best results were obtained by modification of the imbedding medium. Of eighteen different imbedding mediums, diglycol stearate, sold by the Glyco Products Company, proved to be the best. No measureable amount of electrification could be obtained with this material though other common imbedding materials used as a control showed high electrification and difficulty was encountered in obtaining ribbons from them. Since diglycol stearate is dispersible in water, attempts were made to infiltrate directly from the lower alcohols and fixatives with good results. Tissue can be infiltrated by it in a paraffin oven in one to three days using several changes. Imbedding is more successful in a fifty-fifty mixture of paraffin and diglycol stearate, and the electrification is not greatly increased.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1940 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Stiles, Karl A. and Eastwood, Douglas W.
"Objective Studies of Electrification in Mirotechnique,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 47(1), 416-416.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol47/iss1/103