A method for preparing 2- to 50-micron-thick fresh-frozen sections of large samples and undecalcified hard tissues

Histochem Cell Biol. 2000 May;113(5):331-9. doi: 10.1007/s004180000149.


This article describes a method for preparing 2- to 50-micron-thick fresh-frozen sections from large samples and completely calcified tissue samples. In order to perform the more routine work involved, a tungsten carbide disposable blade was installed to a heavy-duty sledge cryomicrotome. An entire 10-day-old rat and bone and tooth samples from a 7-month-old rat were rapidly frozen. The frozen samples were attached to the cryomicrotome stage. The cutting surface of the samples was covered with a polyvinylidene chloride film coated with synthetic rubber cement and cut at -25 degrees C. The soft tissues and the hard tissues were satisfactorily preserved and all tissue cells were easily identifiable. Enzymatic activity in the fresh sections was much stronger than that in chemically fixed and/or decalcified sections. The sections permitted histological and histochemical studies without trouble. In addition, the sections can be used for multiple experiments such as immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and electron microprobe X-ray micro-analysis. This method can be used with conventional cryomicrotome equipment.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cryopreservation*
  • Decalcification Technique
  • Epiphyses / cytology
  • Femur / anatomy & histology
  • Femur / cytology
  • Frozen Sections*
  • Histocytochemistry / methods*
  • Jaw / anatomy & histology
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtomy
  • Molar / cytology
  • Molar / enzymology
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / analogs & derivatives*
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Tissue Fixation


  • polyvinylidene chloride
  • Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Alkaline Phosphatase