Photograph of preparation of a microscope slide using Cargille's Meltmount. Microscope slide preparation method
How to prepare slides of mold pollen bioaerosols - for indoor air quality analysis,Mold Testing Laboratory SOP

  • MICROSCOPE SLIDE PREPARATION - CONTENTS: Microscope slide preparation methods - mold pollen bioaerosols - for indoor air quality analysis - Mold Testing Laboratory Standard Operating Procedures SOPs. Recipes and Formulas for microscope slide preparation mounting media. Names and Sources for microscope slide mount preparation chemicals, media, and equipment, especially for aerobiologists and forensic particle examination
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Aerobiolgy & forensic microscopy lab procedures:

How to prepare microscope slides for lab analysis. This is a collection of aerobiology and mold testing lab standard operating procedures - SOP's and slide preparation recipes useful for identification of mold, pollen, animal dander, skin cells, mite fecals, mouse dander, and other airborne allergens and bioaerosols. Comments and suggestions are invited.

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Slide Preparation Procedures & Guidelines

Air sampling cassette slide preparation (C) Daniel Friedman

Our photo (left) shows particle traces from two different air sampling cassettes prepared on microscope slides for further evaluation.

Our study comparing the performance of these cassettes is found at AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY.

Article Series Contents:

Microscope Slide Stain and Media Recipes

How to Prepare Permanent Microscope Slide Mounts

Particle trace from an air plenum (C) Daniel FriedmanHere is a list of some candidates. WARNING: some of these involve dangerous chemicals, possibly carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and should be used only with expert advice..

How to Use Gelvatol to Prepare Microscope Slides - A Detailed Step by Step Procedure

Recipe for Gelvatol Slide Mount Medium

Gelvatol may be used as a permanent slide mounting medium for mold spore or pollen slides. Gelvatol has been replaced by Mowiol from Burkard - see Mowiol below.

Heat to dissolve, not to much. Then add:


OR BASIC fuchsin (as a colorant for POLLEN if needed - Fisher Cat. No. NC9653986)

OR no colorant

Keep closed tight because it gets harder as it gets in contact with air.

Source: Burkard company; I was told that they call the "polyvinyl alcohol" Gelvatol, a product available from Burkard.

Reader Question: getting rid of air bubbles trapped in the Gelvatol?

(Apr 4, 2014) Anonymous said:
I've got a lot of tiny air bubbles trapped in the gelvatol I prepared. I left it for a while and remove them, but more bubbles form when touch with a glass rod. How can I get rid of them?


Anon. I would try heating the gelvatol - not hot enough to make it bubble or you'll have to start all over. Gently heat and watch it. When viscosity is pretty low, try tapping the container on a surface.

Also I find that one or two small bubbles in the mountant can be easily pushed to one side when I put on the cover slip. Or if there is not enough mountant under the cover slip I use a pipette to introduce a bit more mountant from one edge, later wiping that edge clean.

If more bubbles are forming when you push down on the cover slip I suspect something else is going on, possibly a chemical reaction with the substance being examined, or or you are pushing out air that was trapped in the mounted particles. For example, gypsum (drywall dust) in some indoor dust samples will froth many mountants, and flower or insect parts or large samples of fairly large or disparate particles will sometimes trap air that needs to be expelled.

Often after the cover slip is in place I will press down on it gently with the non-pinching end of a small pair of tweezers over which I've mounted a rubber dropper bulb. The bulb on tweezers gives me a dual -purpose tool since the rubber allows me to press gently without risking breaking the cover slip, and it also makes easier the slight adjustment of the cover slip position.

Finally, watch out for using slide mountant chemicals that react with some of the particles present. For excample using an acidic slide mountant with particles containing drywall dust will lead to bubble formation.


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