Fields of application of the resin histology

Typical applications of resin histology are slides of decalcified bones (e. g. iliac crest), keratinised materials, mineralised tissues, ligaments and hard samples from botany and invertebrate zoology. 

Resin histology complements classical paraffin histology, so that mineralised structures as well as cartilage and ligamentary tissues can be excellently preserved and microscopically examined.

Various plastics are used for embedding. Epoxy resins, methyl methacrylates and glycol methacrylates are commonly used (see --> Methods). In earlier times vinyl resins (e. g. polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and polystyrene) were also used. The resins Araldit and Technovit® (7100, 7200, 8100, 9100) have largely established themselves for questions concerning the cellular level of tissue (histological) structure of the embedded samples.

There are various fields of application for resin embedding:

Depending on the type of sample to be embedded, the appropriate resins must be selected. Unfortunately, there is no universal resin here, but rather the requirements have to be formulated in each case in order to determine the suitable resin.

Biology and Medicine:

  • soft tissues that need to be cut without compression or with minimal compression
  • temperature-critical immunohistochemical detection in soft tissue (Technovit 8100)
  • keratinous tissues or tissue with horn or hair
  • light or strongly calcified tissues (arteriosclerosis)
  • bone and bone biopsies (e. g. iliac crest)
  • Invertebrates with chitin armour and lime skeletons
  • Smaller vertebrates (e. g. fish, frogs, embryos) with slightly calcified bones
  • fingernails, toenails, hair
  • woods, leaves and other botanical materials


Materials science and testing:

  • plastics (e. g. door seals from the automotive industry)
  • transparencies 
  • papers
  • drapery
  • fibres and wires


Technical requirements:

Suitable microtomes are an essential technical prerequisite for the histological processing of samples embedded in resin. In this case, only automatic rotational microtomes with a sample recoil can be used. In addition, special carbide knives must be used for cutting.

Hard resins such as Technovit® 9100 and Technovit® 7200 can also be processed with diamond band saws using the cutting grinding technique.

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