Labs, medical facilities, educational institutions, and microscope enthusiasts can use histology slides for a variety of means such as to study rare or expensive specimens, as an alternative to preparing tissue samples or as a collection of control specimens.
Slides are available in a wide array of kits on-line, categorized by specimen groups such as plant or animal as well as staining techniques; newer slides also cater to type of microscope.
Histology kits contain slides with dead specimens, often stained to highlight various structures, organelles and other features. Different reagents affix themselves to parts of a tissue sample making it visible under a microscope.
Like taking a photograph, the sample is treated with chemicals that will preserve its current state. Since it is impossible to keep specimens alive infinitely, chemicals preserve the specimen and prepare a slide that can be used indefinitely.
The process includes:
The process ends with a cover-slip placed over the dried sample.
A microscope enthusiast benefits from histology slides because he/she has access to specimens otherwise found in a research or university lab. You can purchase affordable histology kits, with structures easily seen on a basic light microscope, at many online venues, such as Amazon.com.
Home users can include parents and their children as well as individuals with an interest in plants or animals. Histology kits also provide the home user a safe way to access slides that contain blood and human tissue; for many, this is the only access to study human pathology.
Elementary and high schools, colleges and universities all benefit from sets of histology slides in their laboratories. Preparing slides is an art form of which most teachers either do not know or do not have enough time to teach students properly.
Many schools, not equipped to handle hazardous materials, such as blood and tissue, find that prepared slides offer a safe way to view slices of organs, bacteria, viruses, and blood smears.
Histological kits can also be used as a set of controls. College students learning to prepare slides can compare his/her work, looking for artifacts. In addition, students can observe anomalies within a specimen contrasted with a normal slide.
A set of histological slides that include diseased tissue might be the only opportunity for a medical student to observe rare diseases under a microscope, possibly helping his/her future diagnostic skills as a doctor or pathologist.
Researchers have many uses for keeping a library of histology slides in a laboratory. Slides can be a set of controls of which to compare new samples; comparisons eliminate the possibility of artifacts and, highlighting abnormal and normal tissue side-by-side, can be useful in identifying the presence of disease.
Most histology slides, especially those easily purchased as kits, are prepared for use under a compound microscope. However, certain companies now create slides for electron microscopes (EM).
Research labs that do not have the resources to prepare slides for an EM – a process that is timely and quite involved – can order specific slides from companies that make TEM slides.
Research labs can request specific reagents and tissue samples, increasing the types of specimens they are able to explore.
Unlike a generic kit, a research lab might contract a histology company, sending tissue specimens to be prepared in a certain way.
Depending on the size of the lab and experience of the researchers, this might save time and money – especially regarding the delicate preparation of EM slides.
Histology provides a way to preserve a specimen in time. The experienced histologists that create slides must know the proper fixatives, plus dehydrating and embedding techniques for a sample type, as well as the best way to thinly slice and affix it to the slide, avoiding artifacts.
Histology slides, easily purchased online, are available in kits containing animal and human tissue, blood smears, specific organs, and related diseases, as well as plant-life.
Beneficial to students of any age, colleges and universities, hobbyists, and research labs, a library of histological slides will last indefinitely so go ahead and purchase yours today!
See also Prepared Microscope Slides - Benefits and Recommendations as well as more on prepared slide kits.
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