These images were taken at low magnification image (10X) with a bright field microscope at the edge of mouse brain tissue. Note that the edges are even, without curling or unevenly cut thicknesses (A). In panel (B), we took images at higher magnification (40X) of another brain region depicting a close-up view of the tissue edge using the emboss filter, which best shows the 3D surface characteristics. The Compresstome® helps preserve tissue architecture, and the agarose embedding material does not infiltrate the tissue. The surface of the tissue has even texture, with no chattermarks, and remains smooth for immunohistochemical staining. Now, we also sectioned 50-µm thick brain slices from the same aged mouse using a leading market brand vibratome. For the comparison we set the cutting parameters to the same oscillation frequency as that used on the Compresstome® VF-300-0Z, and speed settings that were equivalent in speed to that used with the Compresstome. Here are the results:
Although we got workable slices for immunohistochemistry, we noticed that the edges were uneven in many sections (panels A and B above). There was a gradient of tissue thickness, which only was resolved with much slower cutting speeds. Often, we got “thick & thin” alternating slices. The biggest difference between slices made with the Compresstome® and the other microtome was found at high magnification—chattermarks! “Chattermarks” are also known as vibrating artifacts, and appear as little ripples on the slice surface. This “rippling” effect results in uneven protein staining during immunological processes, and is to be avoided. Here’s a close-up look at slices made with the other market leading vibratome:
Are you able to see the chattermarks? At speeds that are lowered than a Compresstome®, we unfortunately got chattermarks on our tissue slices. You can see that the tissue surfaces are uneven in the panels above. …So what is the take-home message for our experimental comparison? We truly feel that the Compresstome® makes the most optimal slices—in this case, for fixed tissues! Here, we wanted to present some visual experimental evidence that tissues cut with the Compresstome® result in great slices!In summary:
- Sections made with the Compresstome® are even, and are free of chattermarks. At a slower cutting speed, sections with a market leading vibratome have uneven surfaces and significant chattermarks.
- Slice cutting speed is much faster with the Compresstome®—you can complete your job quicker!
- Overall, the Compresstome® produces superior slices with high quality surfaces for your experiments.
The Compresstome® Team