Getting Started

Order a starter kit to begin using any Compresstome® slicer without having to order, buy, and wait for additional supplies.


In addition, you can refer to our slicing parameter guideline to figure out where to start your experiment for sectioning speed and oscillation frequency.

To help you get started on sectioning your first specimen, follow these simple steps on agarose embedding and slicing:

Preparing the Agarose for Embedding

We recommend using agarose that has a low transition temperature, which means that the agarose will remain in a “liquid-like” state without congealing at low temperatures. This way, keeping melted agarose in a warm water bath will allow you to have ready-made agarose when sectioning several different specimens.

1.  Each glass vial contains one 0.5 mg agarose tablet. Depending on the gel strength you want for slicing, you can add the appropriate amount of water or buffer solution to the glass vial. We recommend adding 18 mL of solution to each glass vial containing 1 agarose tablet.

2.  Dissolve the agarose tablet by swirling the glass vial for 2 minutes.

3.  Heat the agarose, which can be done in a microwave. Then allow it to cool for 5 minutes.

4.  To keep the agarose in a “liquid-like” state, keep the glass vial in a hot water bath set to 40˚C (104 °F).

Advantages of using our Compresstome® agarose preparation:

  • Eliminates weighing agarose for individual experiments 
  • Agarose tablets are fast dissolving in just 2 minutes
  • Environmentally friendly with no organic solvents that could harm tissues
  • Produces consistent, reproducible gels that are clear

Preparing the Blade Holder

1. Cut each double-edged stainless steel blade horizontally to form two separate blades.

2. Put a small amount of super glue onto a petri dish or other solid surface, then pipette 5 µL of the super glue onto the blade holder and position the blade onto the blade holder.

CAUTION: Make sure that you do not touch the blade edge!

3. After the glue dries, you are ready to use the blade holder and blade for sectioning.

Embedding Tissue Samples in Agarose

1. Prepare your tissue sample by cutting it so that the tissue fits inside the specimen tube.

2. Press a small amount of super glue onto the specimen tube base.

3. Place the syringe chilling block into ice to cool it down.

4. Place the syringe cap onto the top of the specimen tube.

5. Using forceps, position the tissue onto the specimen tube base and glue your tissue to the base.

6. Pipette enough agarose to fully cover the tissue sample. Gently tap on the syringe cap to dispel any air bubbles.

7. Withdraw the syringe tube downwards so that the tissue sample enters the tube. You can then remove the syringe cap.

8. Place the syringe chilling block (should be pre-chilled) for 2 minutes over the specimen tube to chill the entire sample and help the agarose to solidify.

9. Once your tissue is embedded into agarose, you are ready for sectioning with the Compresstome® slicer.

Sectioning with the Compresstome® Slicer 

1. Insert the specimen syringe tube into the buffer tray on the Compresstome® slicer. Push the tube as far as it will go into the buffer tray. 

2. Align the blade.

3. Place the blade holder with the glued-on blade onto the Compresstome® vibrating head.

4. Start the cutting process, then stop when the blade reaches about half-way down the specimen tube.

5. Move the blade as close as possible to the tube edge, then use the small Allen wrench to tighten the blade holder.

6. Continue cutting with the Compresstome® slicer. You can adjust the slice thickness, sectioning speed, and frequency of oscillation to best suit your experimental needs.

Additional questions? Want some assistance?
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