How to Prepare Permanent Slides
This procedure describes a method for preparing permanent
microscope slides. I use this method when preparing fiber slides which
are retained for future reference or instruction.
• Cargille Meltmount - Cargille Laboratories ND=1.662 – comes in
a jar or as a stick (QuickStick).
• Hot plate - should be able to reach at least 100 °C. Some have a
heater and a stirrer. A heater is all that is required.
• Slide covers – circular recommended
• Glass rod or implement for Meltmount transfer to slide
A hot plate is a small electric stove used in laboratory settings to heat
glassware. They are generally expensive but can be purchase on E-bay for
about $20 - $30.
The Meltmount can be purchased in a stick or in a glass container. The
Meltmount should be transferred to a heat resistant container such as
a Pyrex beaker after melting.
1. The Meltmount is solid at room temperature and needs to be
melted on the hot plate prior to use at about 60-70 °C (usually
the lowest setting).
2. Select the fiber sample to be mounted and place on a clean slide
3. Pick up a small amount of the Meltmount I use a glass rod and
while liquid place it onto a clean slide cover. I put enough on to
get a thin layer on most of the slide cover. Too much Meltmount
may produce a messy slide with a lot of excess Meltmount to be
cleaned off later. Too little Meltmount may not adequately handle
large particles, leaving a tilted slide cover.
4. Place the slide cover on top of the fiber sample on the slide.
5. Put a slide on the hot plate with about ¼ of the slide off the hot
6. Once the Meltmount is completely liquefied the slide should be
removed quickly and a clean glass rod or other implement should
be used to gently press down the slide cover taking care not to
crack the glass. This is done to remove any air bubbles.
7. One the slide has cooled clean off any excess Meltmount with a
8. Label the slide.