The flimsiest tissues or arrangements of tissues can be kept in perfect orientation with the technique of "paper embedding".  In Mohs cases, the epidermis will remain fixed on edge without flipping. 

Precisely embed flimsy thin tissues. 

Great for Mohs Surgery

1) A thin strip of skin (epidermis seen up)  less than 1mm wide.

2) A drop of embedding medium is placed on the dispensing slide. A square of lens paper is at bottom.

3) The lens paper is wetted in the drop of embedding medium then flipped over and placed on the drop of medium wetting both sides.

4) Excess medium is pressed out from under the paper using the back of the forceps.

5) Lens paper pulled to the end of the slide so a tab of 2 -3 mm overhangs the dispensing slide.

6) Place the tissue in precise position on the paper.

7) Observe the tissue from below and from the side. Make any adjustments to the position.

8) Touch the wetted tab of the lens paper to adhere to the well floor.  Pull out the dispensing slide leaving the paper on the well floor.

9)  Well filled and block removed in usual fashion.

10) Untrimmed prepared block looking through lens paper.

11) Block trimmed across lens paper to reach tissue.

12) Micrograph showing well oriented complete section of skin.

The "Book"

Embed numerous sections of flat tissues on edge.

Great for cysts walls, and large flat margins that need to be embedded on edge.

1)Cut a square of lens paper to fit the tissue.

2) Cut the tissue into 3 mm strips.

3) Lightly coat tissue strips with embedding medium.

4) Place a drop of embedding medium on the dispensing slide.

5)Wet both sides of paper in embedding medium.

6)Wet both sides of paper in embedding medium.

7) Place tissue strips on paper on edge by  leaning tissues against each other to help them stand up.

8) Place tissue strips on paper on edge by  leaning tissues against each other to help them stand up.

9) Leave a 2-3mm tab of paper to overlap the edge of the dispensing slide.

10) Touch the overlapping tab of paper to the well floor and pull away the slide.

11) Fill well and complete block

12) Untrimmed block

13) Trimmed block

14) Photo of stained slide

15)  Photo micrograph @ 20 X

Making Jelly Rolls    

Stand paper thin membranes on edge

Fetal membrane - too flimsy to stand on edge in a book.

1) Cut membrane into 3mm wide strips. Wet with embedding medium.

2) Place paper on slide as above. Start by rolling a strip on the paper to form the center.

3) & 4) Add additional strips by wrapping them around the central core.

5) Touch tab paper to the well floor. Pull paper and jelly roll off the slide onto the well floor.

6), 7) and 8) Trimmed block, frozen section slide and micrograph.

Embedded Fetal Membrane on face

Fetal Membrane   0.5mm thick

Trimmed Block

Photo of Slide


Further details on paper embedding:  

Make sure the paper is wetted with embedding medium completely on both sides including the tab hanging over the edge of the dispensing slide.

Press any excess embedding medium or bubbles out from under the paper with the side of the embedding forceps.

Try to touch the wetted tab along its entire width so it will pull the paper evenly off the slide.

The lens paper cuts away easily and does not interfere with the section. Plaster any defects that may arise

Any portions of the paper which are not under the tissue can be trimmed away with the scalpel point once the paper has adheres to the well floor.

Art work using paper embedding

Flowers at night

Snail of Love

These pictures were made using minced vegetables including peppers and beets. The picture on the left was done by my son at age 15. He is more artistic than me!