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What are the types of mounting involved in the preparation of slides?

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Last updated date: 23rd Apr 2024
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Hint: Objects magnified under the compound microscopes are mounted onto specific microscope slides. There are multiple methods of preparation that make it possible for viewing inorganic and organic objects that are normally invisible to the naked eye. The primary step in making a slide is to settle on the sort of mount suited to the object to be viewed. The 'mount' is just the way during which a specimen is placed on the slide.

Complete answer: The skills required, and available equipment determines the ease to create each mount. There are three known methods of creating a mount namely: dry mount, wet mount, and ready mount.
1. Dry mount: Dry mounts are the simplest microscope slides to make. For this, a glass slide is taken along with a coverslip. The sample is placed onto the slide and covered with the coverslip and it is now ready to be viewed under the microscope. The coverslip essentially protects both the objective lens of the microscope and the sample.
 2. Wet mount: Creating this type of slide involves more steps. A wet mount is prepared by adding a couple of drops of the suitable liquid onto the slide. Next, the specimen is added to the liquid, and a couple of more drops is added on top of it. Next, the slide is covered by a coverslip carefully placing it at an angle, so as to prevent the formation of bubbles.
3. Ready mount: Making a prepared mount slide is more complicated, although it is more long-lasting than the slides prepared using the first two techniques. The specimen must be sliced very thinly. Once the specimen is thin enough, it is carefully placed on the glass slide. Any excess water is needed to be removed before adding a suitable dye so as to stain the intricate structures of the specimen. After washing the excess stain away, the coverslip is placed on top of the sample. Adding a fixative to the specimen before you set on the coverslip will help prevent decay.

Note: Wet mounts features a lot of benefits. The liquid refraction makes it much easier to ascertain intricate structures present in the specimen. It is important to note that for preparing ready mounts, the specimen under view must be finely sliced. The simplest tool used for this is often a microtome.