The simple answer is, contact us! We are happy to help troubleshoot your cutting parameters, as many low-quality sectioning issues are due to:
- The agarose concentration: too firm or too soft agarose concentration will interfere with how the samples are held in the agarose and how they exit the specimen tube to be cut (you want the firmness of your agarose to match the firmness of your tissue samples).
- The cutting speed: a cutting speed that is too high will likely shred the sections as they are cut, will drag the tissue out of the specimen tube, or produce inconsistent slice thicknesses where the slices are thicker at the edges of the section. A cutting speed that is too low will not cut through the sample all of the way depending on the firmness of the sample, or pull the sample out of the agarose when it is cut.
- The oscillation frequency: A vibration frequency that is too high will result in chatter marks on the produced sections and can also interfere with the consistency of the produced slice thickness. A vibration frequency that is too low will not cut through the entire sample all of the way, especially if the sample is too firm.
- The cutting blades: The stainless steel blades need to be replaced every 1-3 experiments. For firm samples, or for higher section quality, we recommend the ceramic or tungsten carbide blades.
If you find that the issues persist after adjusting the cutting parameters, please call or email us with a description of the problem and the serial number of the model ready. We have a Compresstome Analysis Document we can send you which is a short, 3-page document to execute to try and remedy the problem. If the problem persists, we will initiate a repair case and request your model to be sent back to Precisionary Instruments for the needed repairs. Repairs typically take 1-2 weeks to complete and send back to the customer upon receipt of the model in our facilities.