- Process the specimen in toto, as you would other small biopsies.
- Embed the nail specimen/fragment on any edge. I have found that this helps facilitate the facing step and generally keeps it from “popping” from the paraffin block.
- At the microtomy station, face into the block exposing the outermost surface of the nail specimen.
- Place a small amount of hand/body lotion directly on the nail exposed surface for approximately 15-20 minutes. Time can vary based upon the size of the specimen and I have not experienced any harm to the specimen in allowing extra time.
- Wipe away the excess lotion and place block on the cold plate/ice bath.
- Section the block as you would any other specimen, taking care to get the first sections and not going back too deep into the block.
- Place sections on some type of adhesive slide.
- Dry slides and stain.
Good luck and share your results with this technique on NSH’s member’s only community.
- The Block!
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Written by Carl Sagasser, HT(ASCP)