Michael Lichten lichten at helix.nih.gov
Tue Feb 6 08:19:37 EST 1996

In article <4f5vdt$snu at garuda.csulb.edu>, agonz at csulb.edu (Adolfo
Gonzalez) wrote:

> I am looking for a manufacturer of micromanipulator glass
> needles.  If you know of any such mfg., please let me know.  We are
> currently making the needles out of 3mm O.D glass rods, but we would like to
> simplify our lives.
> Thanks,
>  Adolfo Gonzalez  <agonz at csulb.edu>
>  California State Univ. Long Beach
>  Dept. of Biological Sciences

We make our glass needles from surplus (i.e. defective) optical fiber. 
Alan Hinnebusch bought some from Edmund Scientific several years ago and
it will be enough to supply the entire NIH community well into the next
millenium.  Does anyone out there know the catalog number?

We pull a support (looks like a failed needle, or one that your friend
just broke the tip off) from glass rod or from a capillary, and glue the
appropriate length of glass fiber to that support with super glue.  Make a
puddle of super glue, dip the support in it, touch it to your needle, et

The advantage of using glass fiber is that you can cut many lengths at one
time (we use a fresh razor blade, others use the edge of a glass slide),
put them all on a slide, look at them under a low-power objective, and
pick out the one with a perfect end.  

You can also buy needles from Singer Instruments, and I believe there's
already been a post on this newsgroup with their address.

Of course, there are those in the business who claim that making needles
the old way builds character and moral fiber, and that the optical
fiber/super glue method is just another symptom of the decay of our
society.  Personally, I'd rather get done with the dissection.

Michael Lichten
lichten at helix.nih.gov

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