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Another Collembola

 
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gpmatthews



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 1025
Location: Horsham, W. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:48 pm    Post subject: Another Collembola Reply with quote



I wanted to try out an acryllic casting resin as a microscope mountant. This is an image of a collembola specimen mounted in Polylite 32032 resin. The specimen was dehydrated in isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol was pippeted off to leave only a small quantity. Resin monomer was then added and mixed by multiple inversion in a small tube, then left to stand for 30 mins or so. A drop of the resin was placed on a microscope slide and warmed on a hotplate to remove bubbles. The underside of a coverslip was painted with a film of resin catalyst and the coverslip placed in position and gently pressed down with a mounted needle, taking care not to overdo it and squash the specimen. The slide was then left to allow the resin to cure.

Microscope: Leitz Dialux
Objective: Zeiss 1.6/0.03 - 5/0.1
Ocular: Zeiss KPL 8
Oblique epi + transmitted light
Sample from garden leaf litter, 18-Jan-2018
Stack of 13 images/Zerene Stacker
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Graham

Though we lean upon the same balustrade, the colours of the mountain are different.
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Mike



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 82
Location: Northeast Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Graham.

Very impressive! What strikes me is the absence of dust/detritus one usually gets with such subjects.

Can you give some more details on the resin? If I understand you correctly, there was no mixing of the resin with the catalyst, just the drop of resin on the slide, and the coating of the coverslip with the resin - I assume it did cure completely.

I checked the technical sheet and it indicates RI equivalent to glass, or ~1.52, so it would seem this might have a use for mounting diatoms. Any thoughts?

Interesting and exciting approach.

All the best,
Mike
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gpmatthews



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 1025
Location: Horsham, W. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, the background was cleaned up. Here is a frame from the stack with no post processing - not a lot of rubbish, but some:



As for the resin: I figured that with a thin film the catalyst would diffuse OK from the slip into the body of the resin. Also, I know that acrylic resins tend to polymerise if left to their own devices long enough anyway... so a little catalyst will go a long way. In fact it polymerised quite quickly. One of the reasons for trying acrylic was the suspected ease of curing. I had tried clear epoxy previously and found it difficult to mix the components in a usable way with the specimen. Ideally, I wanted to leave the specimen in the mounting medium for long enough for any alcohol to diffuse away uniformly and to permeate the specimen with monomer. I used isopropyl alcohol for dehydration and it seems quite compatible with the acrylate monomer, so it was no problem leaving it to soak before introducing a catalyst in a manner that required no mechanical mixing.

- hope that makes sense.
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Graham

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Mike



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 82
Location: Northeast Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Graham,

Thank you for the response/info - having done a cursory look at acrylic casting resins offered this side of the pond is a bit disheartening as I have not been able to get any specifications re RI of products on offer.

It appears you touched up the white balance and the few dust motes, but overall looks quite good! Congratulations!

Currently trying to source the Polylite 32032 in the USA - I see Reichhold have distribution here, IMCD, but on checking their site for Polylite nothing is listed. Do you know of any suppliers that would ship to the USA? It appears McConnell Bros., LTD. is their distributor in the UK, but I doubt they would send any to the USA.

Oh well! Perhaps I can find an alternative.

All the best,
Mike
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gpmatthews



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
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Location: Horsham, W. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought mine through eBay from a UK supplier, so I'm sorry I don't know about any US source
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Graham

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