slide - rectangular piece of glass or plastic on which
you place the specimen.
coverslip - thin, square piece of glass or plastic
which you place over the specimen on the slide.
dry mount - requires no water (slide,
object, coverslip); usually used for inanimate objects that
don't require water to live.
- Place slide on a flat surface.
- Lay specimen on top of slide (use as thin of a specimen
as possible - 1 cell layer thick is best).
- Place coverslip slowly on top of specimen as flat as possible.
B. wet mount - requires water (slide, water,
object, coverslip); used to prepare slides that hold living organisms
(mobile or not).
Place slide on a flat surface.
Place a drop of water on the slide. Add the specimen
to the drop of water (at times, you may want to have the specimen
already on the slide before adding the water).
Hold the coverslip by its sides and lay its bottom
edge on the slide close to the specimen. Holding the coverslip
at a 45o angle helps.
Slowly lower the coverslip so that it spreads
the water out. If you get air bubbles (looking like little black
doughnuts), gently press on the coverslip to move them to the
edge. If there are dry areas under the coverslip, add a little
more water at the edge of the coverslip. Too much water can be
dabbed off with a piece of paper towel.
Moving organisms can be slowed down with commercially
prepared solutions, such as Protoslo. A few strands from a cottonball
added to the water also can help trap and slow down organisms.
C. staining specimens - Lugol's iodine,
methylene blue, or crystal violet may be added to specimens in order
to increase contrast. The stain can be directly added to the water
when first preparing the slide or it can be added later after first
viewing the specimen without the stain. Add a drop of the stain
along one edge of the coverslip. Placing a piece of paper towel
along the opposite edge of the coverslip will help draw the stain
under the coverslip. CAUTION: The above dyes will stain skin
and clothing. They are also harmful if ingested.
and students, be sure to keep all Chemical, Sharp instrument, and
Glass Safety Rules that are specified by the teacher and in all
general laboratory experiences when preparing microscope slides
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by: Glen Westbroek
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