Project Title

Implementing a Plastic-embedding System for Histological Analysis of Reproductive Structures in Lumbriculus

Name of Award

3M Small Scale Grant

Date Awarded

9-2014

Department/School

Biology

Project Description

Kay Tweeten, Professor of Biology, and Nabeela Khan, received a $2,000 award from the 3M Small Scale Grant program to learn the technique of embedding in plastic and apply it to analysis of formation of reproductive structures in Lumbriculus. In addition to providing tissues with improved integrity for staining, the plastic protocol would provide a greener and more rapid approach for on-going histological studies. Embedding in paraffin requires use of large amounts of 70%, 95%, and 100% ethanol along with a toxic dehydration reagent, Histochoice, during the 16 hour processing of tissue for embedding. These solutions are also needed, once sections have been generated, for removing the paraffin prior to staining. Embedding in plastic would drastically reduce the volumes of processing liquids needing controlled waste disposal, is completed in about 8 hours, and does not require removal of the plastic prior to staining.

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