[Neuroscience] Vibratome squash

Jason Jerome via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by hypa_dude from yahoo.com)
Fri Feb 19 13:48:29 EST 2010

I've been doing acute slice experiments for a couple years now and every
other experiment I run in to this problem.

When slicing, the brain appears to be squashed by the Vibratome blade before
starting the cut. It seems like this reduces slice quality, but as you all
know, methods to improve slice quality are often purely empirical and elude

I use a slushy glycerol-based cutting solution but I have also used sucrose
in the past with the same results.  I glue an agar wedge to the block as a
support. The blade angle, speed, and amplitude are constant and are
Vibratome's recommended settings for acute slices.

I've heard that some labs partially cover the brain in a low, ultra-low, or
normal gel-point agar (which is best is another question).  Does this
substantially improve slice quality?

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