Microscopy Workshop 2

Making permanent slides is a process that requires some preparation and some practice! Now that you have had some practice using kitchen powders such as flour, baking powder, cake mix, pancake mix, instant pudding, salt sugar and whatever else you could find its time to make some slides that you can use as a reference and share with others. Permanent slides are just that…permanent. They can not be disassembled once they are made. Semi-permanent slides are made to last a few hours or as long as your work session at the microscope. For semi-permanent slides olive oil is a good choice to begin with because it is readily available and non-toxic. Water is a good choice for biological materials and for items that are not soluble in water. The eraser end of a pencil can be used to gently disperse your sample between coverslip and slide by pressing on the coverslip (after adding the oil and the particles) and moving the coverslip using the eraser to grip the coverslip. A side to side or circular motion works well. Be careful with hard particles as too much pressure could break the coverslip. Practice using the olive oil and a few samples before starting permanent mounts. For permanent mounts I recommend Norland optical adhesive either #63 or #68. Store the bottle inverted as this will help minimize any air bubbles that may form. Start simple…pollen, flour, something that will disperse easily. One small drop on a glass slide, add your particles, break up any air bubbles with a clean toothpick, add the coverslip and allow the adhesive to flow. Pressing slightly with your pencil eraser will speed up the process. Cure for about 10 minutes with a blacklight (long wave UV). The adhesive will continue to cure after exposure to the blacklight so the slides should be “cured in 24 hours”. If not, more blacklight exposure. Please read all cautions and safety warnings that apply when using long wave UV. Do not use a short wave UV source as this can damage your eyes!! A good price for microscope slides is an inexpensive one..Grafco slides Coverslips can be found too…coverslips. I have not purchased from this place but the price looks good! Have fun and remember to dispose of glass properly and leave a clean work space for the next person.

Slide #2

Butterfly scale

From GMS slide kit…thanks to all who volunteered to put these together!!

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