A microtome is used for sectioning -- cutting very thin slices (secctions) from a tissue sample.
- Amicrotome has the essential machinery of a baloney-slicer:
- a cutting edge (which may be a razor, a heavy knife, a piece of broken glass, or a finely sharpened diamond).
- a specimen holder.
- a screw to advance the specimen toward the blade (ultramicrotomes may use carefully-controlled thermal expansion in lieu of a screw);
this machinery is typically hidden within a cover.
- a crank, such that each turn of the crank raises the specimen, advances it, and then lowers it across the blade.
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SIUC / School
of Medicine / Anatomy / David
Last updated: 18 February 2010 / dgk