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My sections are compressed or wrinkled. I’m also not getting ribbons. What do I do?

When your tissue sections are compressed, wrinkled, or look “scrunched up,” it can be due to:

  • Cutting blade is dull. Try changing to a new cutting blade.
  • Cutting blade is dirty. There can be paraffin wax build-up on your blade’s edge that prevents adequate cutting. Thoroughly clean the cutting blade or change to a new blade. 
  • Clearance angle is too large. Try adjusting the cutting angle by rotating the middle portion of the knife block. Aim for a cutting angle of 1-10 degrees. Remember that a sharper angle does not result in better cutting.
  • Specimen is too warm. Check your room temperature, and cool the room. Try also cooling your specimen on a cold plate before cutting.