Resin Histology by Device Type (Cut & Grind vs. Microtomy)
Resin/plastic histology is typically used to examine hard tissue, such as bone, and to study how implanted medical devices interact with surrounding tissues. There are two basic methods for resin histology: grinding, also called cutting and grinding (or ‘saw and grind’) using a precision diamond saw and a grinder–polisher, and sectioning, which is conducted using a rotary microtome. For both methods, samples are first dehydrated, and then infiltrated with a plastic monomer, which is subsequently polymerized into a plastic tissue block. With cut and grind, a diamond edge saw is used to slice a thin ‘wafer’ out of the resin-embedded tissue block. This wafer is then glued onto the slide and ground to the thickness required. The cut and grind technique is used for devices comprised of larger metal or those containing ceramic components. Cut and grind is commonly used for large devices, such as orthopedic hip replacements, which allows the researcher to see the interface between bone and metal under the microscope.
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