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Skin Sample Preparation

1) Cut a strip of skin that is approximately 0.5-1 cm wide and approximately 3 cm long. Be consistent with what part of the body you select from. 

2) Curl the skin into a circle around a marble with the hair outside. 

3) Place the skin wrapped around the marble into a well to keep it standing upright. Use either a 12-well or a 24-well plate. 

4) In a fume hood, add 10% buffered formalin (or a different fixative if desired) into the well until the skin is submerged. 

5) Let it fix for 24-48 hours before removing the skin, which should be rigid, and placing it into a cassette. The cassette should be stored in buffered formalin or 70% ethanol until further processing. 

*Make sure the width of the strip is not too wide or it will get compressed when you seal the cassette. The goal is to have a skin prep that is perpendicular to the ‘ground’, thereby minimizing error in the apparent thickness of the skin when sectioning.*