Staining Flesh and Slides

It's been a while since I posted anything from work so here's a few pictures I took today.

This first one is the "staining flesh" part of the title. I tripped on a rubber mat that had come up from the floor. I didn't hit the floor. Fortunately I broke my fall using my hand on a bench top, however there was a centrifuge key there and it poked into my hand pretty hard when my weight came down on it.

It didn't break my skin, but as you can see, there's already a black and blue mark forming from blood under the surface of the skin. It's also quite sore, swollen, and hard to the touch. It's going to be fun using it tomorrow!

On to "staining slides" which is a much better topic than staining flesh. *ouch*

This first picture is of 20 breast tumor slides (8 from mice and 12 from women) being boiled in citra buffer. This process brings antigens to the surface of the cells on the slide. That allows for better staining since the antibody-antigen complexes are more visible. It also smells nice since the odor of citrus fills the air as the slides heat up in the rice cooker.

Here we have my slide setup for adding antibody to the slides. Each antibody is supplied at a different concentration so we initially have to titrate to determine the ideal dilution to use. I've used this antibody before and knew that I'd need to dilute it 1 to 300. I use 300 microliters on each slide, times 20 slides, so I needed a total of 6 milliliters of antibody solution. That looks kinda strange. We normally just refer to that as 6 mls.

And in this final picture you see one of the slides to which I'm about to add diluted antibody. You can see the tissue on the slide with the circle around it. The circle is a hydrophobic compound that I draw on so that the antibody solution won't leak off the slide. I guess in a way it's kinda like a reverse-moat.

After I add the antibody, the slides go into 4c (refrigerator temp) overnight to allow the antibody plenty of time to glom onto the antibodies on the surface of the breast cancer cells. The rest of the experiment takes place tomorrow. Wheee!


Very interesting. I guess you could say you don't have boring days at the office!
srp said…
I don't recall our antigen retrieval having that great of a citrus smell... It's nice to see some things haven't changed that much since I was back in MS.

BTW, my daughter, Nyssa is chasing storms in Oklahoma. They managed to see their first tornado yesterday...

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