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How to Prepare a Microscope Slide

Microscope slides are prepared depending on the purpose they are going to be used for, as well as the outcome you are striving to achieve. They have to be cleaned before use. When you are cleaning these types of slides, you are expected to scrub your hand with cotton-soaked ethanol. The slide must then be cleaned with cotton gauze that has been saturated in 70% alcohol. It has to be meticulously cleaned and then air dried, and then the sample should be placed on it. If the slide is not cleaned correctly, then false positive results may be the end result and you would be called upon to re-do the process.

You can prepare the slide in three different ways. These are inclusive of the dry mount, the wet mount, as well as the prepared mount. The dry mount usually holds such things as hair, feather, pollen and grains. Such things as semen, saliva, urine and blood are usually placed on the wet mount. The prepared mount would normally have more complex structures of sample.

With the dry mount, the sample is positioned on the slide and then a cover slip is positioned right over it. There are times when the sample has to be heated. When this is necessary, the slide is briefly heated over a Bunsen burner. The cover lid is pushed down with the thumb so that the sample can be correctly administered.

For the wet mount, the sample is placed in water or some other liquid conductor and then is it observed under a microscope. A cover lid is placed on the sample to secure the liquid from spillage.

When there is a prepared mount, an intricate structure is cut into thin segments using a microtome. The specimen is then stained, rehydrated and treated with varying types of substances. The sample is afterwards securely attached and then it is examined using the microscope.

In order to get a clear resolution, mounting media has to be applied on the sample before it is covered. The mounting media should not come in contact with the sample. Hoyer’s mounting media and glycerol jelly are the most commonly used when studying sample under a microscope. Just a few droplets are placed on the sample, and then a cover slip is placed over it. The slide is placed over the hole in the microscope and then the light is appropriately adjusted. These are the basic steps of how to prepare a microscope slide.