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Microvasc Res. 2004 May;67(3):215-7.

A method for selectively limiting lumen diameter in corrosion casting.

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Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


Corrosion casting is a technique frequently used to evaluate the form and spatial relationship of three dimensional biological structures, such as vascular networks, in vitro [Scann. Microsc. 5 (1991) 1097; Schraufnagel, D.E. The lung microstructure. In: Motta, P.M., Murakami, T. Fujita, H. eds. Scanning Electron Microscopy of Vascular Casts: Methods and Applications. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1992:123-137]. However, because corrosion casts tend to reproduce the complexity of surrounding vascular structures as well as the structures of interest, the use of this technique in highly complex vascular systems may obscure important changes such as A-V shunts because they may get lost among the myriad of capillaries. We developed a novel modification for creating vascular corrosion casts by utilizing polystyrene microspheres to selectively embolize normal capillary networks and thereby reduce the overall complexity of the cast. his technique may aid investigators in the evaluation of a variety of vascular beds and is useful in demonstrating non-capillary arteriovenous communications.

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