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J Endovasc Ther. 2003 Apr;10(2):285-7.

Alternative method of rapid drying vascular specimens for scanning electron microscopy.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy, Medical Faculty in Hradec Králové, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. slizova@lfhk.cuni.cz

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To report the use of hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) as an alternative to critical point drying for preparing stented canine peripheral vessels for scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

TECHNIQUE:

Vascular specimens were fixed in 4% formaldehyde overnight, dehydrated in a graded ethanol series, followed by immersion in 100% hexamethyldisilazane. After air drying, the specimens were mounted on stainless steel stubs, coated with gold, and examined in the SEM. The electron micrographs were of high quality, showing the layers of the vascular wall and the incorporated stent covered by a neointimal layer. The micrographs were comparable to corresponding histological sections, but detailed endothelial patterns were more visible.

CONCLUSIONS:

HMDS treatment and subsequent air drying provides good quality scanning electron micrographs that reveal both endothelial patterns and the layered architecture of stented vessels. The disadvantage of HMDS drying may be a shrinkage and distortion similar to other drying agents. Ease of handling, low cost, and a high rate of success are advantages that favor HMDS desiccation over other drying methods.

PMID:
12877611
DOI:
10.1177/152660280301000218
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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