MICROTOME – AN INSIGHT AS A SCIENTIFIC TOOL

A Microtome is a scientific instrument, originated from the Greek words micros which means ‘small’, and temniem which means ‘to cut’. It is a tool that is used for the cutting of extremely thin pieces of materials, also known as sections. Recognized as scientific instruments, Microtomes are used in microscopy, allowing the preparation of samples for a thorough analysis and examination under electron radiation or transmitted light. 

These instruments are also known as sectioning instruments, responsible for the preparations of minute and thin sections for elements or materials such as bones, teeth, and also minerals. 

USES OF IT:

  • Allows the setting up of the Rotary Microtome
  • Rotating the Rotor
  • Adjusting the Samples
  • Flexible in adjusting the thickness of the thin slices 
  • Placing the prepared boxes of wax with tissues or organs 
  • Heavier in size, and thus more stable
  • Ideal for cutting a large number of sections from each block 
  • An ease in the adaption to all types of tissue sectioning 
  • Has the ability to cut 2-3 mm of sections

VARIOUS TYPES:

There are several types of it and various Microtome Manufacturers and Microtome Suppliers in this business with their specific set of such devices to offer. Let us have a look at some of the most widely used Microtomes:

  1. RA-303
  2. SAM 500- SEMI AUTOMATIC ROTARY MICROTOME 
  3. RS-355 FULLY AUTOMATIC ROTARY MICROTOME 
  4. RS-305 SENIOR ROTARY MICROTOME SPENCER 820 TYPE
  5. SM-300 SLEDGE MICROTOME 

THEIR WORKING PRINCIPLE:

  • Being a common instrument, These are used widely in conducting scientific operations where their usage is required. 
  • This device uses a staged rotary action, ensuring that the cutting is in part of the process of rotary motion
  • The inside of a rotary microtome consists of a blade that is fixed in a horizontal position, with the help of the motion of the sample holder
  • Further, the sample is cut by the knife position, such that the fresh section is remaining on the knife
  • Next, at the very topmost point of the rotary motion, the sample holder advances with the initial thickness for the new section in the process to be made, making way for the next new section to be made
  • Various Microtomes can be operated by hands, allowing an advantage for a clean-cut to be made
  • The device cuts the thickness between 1-60 micron meter

OPERATION:

Firstly it is very important to check the fitting as well as the adjustability of the knife. The term knife wherever used will also include a disposable blade holder. 

  1. Release the knife clamp levers to ensure that the knife enters into the clamp from the side
  2. The next step involves inserting the knife inside and taking care to avoid touching the edge which is against the metalwork 
  3. The knife is required to lie flat on the pad pieces
  4. Check out that the kneeling of the knife is not under the hold on the slot of the knife clamp
  5. Next, the knife clamp levers need to screw down just enough to enable its steady position
  6. Loosen the knife clamp levers. Place the knife holder to the slew angle which is desired, ensuring that the knife clamps cover the ends of the knife
  7. Set the knife to the cutting angle and tighten the levers
  8. Double-check that the knife is placed at the desired slew angles followed by tightening the knife block clamp levers 

Important note**- To conduct this process efficiently, you need to check that the knife clamps are aligned correctly in the holders. The block clamp levers should be slackened before the knife clamping levers are tightened

VARIOUS COMPONENTS OF IT:

  • THE CLAMP: This device is optional but at the same time very useful. It holds the microtome to the table, adding stability, convenience, thereby making the cuts more reproducible
  • KNIFE: This is somewhat similar to a razor knife
  • MOLD: It is a cylinder that is small and made up of brass, serves the purpose of a mold for the making of paraffin blocks which contain the specimen
  • THE MICROTOME: This component contains a hole that is central, and places the specimen. A screw moves the piston up, allowing the specimen to be pushed up as well. The plate of it is useful as a guide for the razor knife

WRAPPING IT UP:
Looking for a Microtome? Well connect with the most reputed Microtome Manufacturers and Microtome Suppliers to seal your deal in the purchase of this most commonly used thin slice sectioning scientific instrument.

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