What is a tissue water bath?

Water baths are a very common item in any kind of microbiological laboratories. This type of equipment is a container that is capable to hold heated water in order to incubate samples in water in a constant temperature for a long period. Water baths usually has an interface that allows the user to set the right temperature in order to achieve the wanted results.

There are some essential steps in a histology lab. The sectioning process is one of the most important ones, because this procedure has to be very precise and the blocks you are cutting into, must not be cracked in any way. When you begin the sectioning process, the first thing you do is to cool off the paraffin blocks in order to make the right cut. Then you place those blocks in the water bath and set it to the desired temperature, being a fundamental step in the entire procedure.

Tissue flotation water bath

There are some recommendations when it comes to the use of water baths. First, experts do not recommend using the water bath with moisture sensitive or pyrophoric reactions. Second, you have to constantly monitor the water level and only use distilled water; the reason is that you do not want any salts depositing on the heater. In addition, if your application involves liquids that give off fumes, we recommend you to operate the water bath in a fume hood or in a well-ventilated area. Moreover, you can raise the temperature to 90 °C or higher once a week for half an hour to decontaminate the device. Finally, we also recommend setting the water bath on a steady surface away from flammable materials.

Histology water bath

The water bath stage, the intermediate step between cutting paraffin sections and placing them on slides. A warm water bath allows tissue to relax and smooth out prior to being mounted on a glass slide. The warmth also makes the paraffin stick to the glass slides. Water baths are filled with distilled water, heated to a temperature 5-10° C below the melting point of paraffin, and the water bath is usually kept at 40-50° C. This is an optimal temperature range for various types of paraffin. Hard paraffin will require a higher water temperature to relax, while softer paraffin will benefit from a lower water temperature, since they may disintegrate at higher temperatures.

Tissue water bath

There are some facts you need to know about tissue flotation water baths. First, they are used to float paraffin ribbons, to stretch sections and remove wrinkles and folds before placing sections on slide. In addition, you can add 95% alcohol to the water to lower surface tension and remove wrinkles. Moreover, water temperature may need to be lowered for fatty tissue, such as breast or brain.

Another important thing is that sometimes adhesive is added to the water to aide in slide adhesion. Moreover, water must be kept clean and changed at least daily. In addition, you must keep empty reservoir covered to prevent fibers and dust from settling and becoming a potential contaminant. About this, reservoir must be cleaned daily and paraffin removed with gauze. It may also be wiped down with alcohol. Another important thing is that water surface must be skimmed with a laboratory-grade wipe to prevent contamination of debris between each ribbon. In addition, a water bath that is too cold will not remove wrinkles in tissue sections. On the other hand, a water bath that is too hot may melt the paraffin and change the tissue morphology. Finally, the water bath may introduce artifacts to sections.

You can find different kinds of tissue water bath in our catalog. HERE