How does the Paraffin Trimmer or Dispenser work in the Lab?

The paraffin trimmer or dispenser is used to apply a thin layer of paraffin to a sample so that it is better seen when examined under a microscope. It can also be called immersion apparatus. Paraffin is a material that melts at a relatively low temperature and solidifies quickly, making it ideal for this use.

These devices are used with a slide, which is a flat sheet with a hole in the center. Place the sample in the hollow and apply the paraffin around it, allow it to solidify and then cut with a knife to make it thin.

They are also used in many laboratories, especially those where tissues are examined, both under the light microscope and scanning electron microscope.

Applications of Paraffin Trimmer or Dispenser

The paraffin trimmer is composed of a stainless steel blade that is mounted on a handle, designed to be sharp and can have one or two rows of teeth. Most paraffin trimmers also have an ergonomic grip for better grip. They are often used in the pathology laboratory to trim frozen tissue samples before microscopy and are especially useful when analyzing samples of cancerous tissue.

There are many applications, such as:

  • Toxicology, in which tissue samples from animals that have died from poisoning are trimmed, allowing scientists to identify the toxic substance and determine the lethal dose.
  • Science, are often used to prepare samples for electron microscopy and can be examined.
  • Biology, where appropriate tissue or plant samples can be obtained to look for viruses or diseases.
  • Chemistry, is used to trim samples of materials for chemical analysis in search of a particular chemical.
  • Physics, where it’s trimming samples of materials to look for a particular physical substance.
  • It can also be used to cut other materials, such as fresh tissue samples, gels and films.

Key Features

One of the main features of the paraffin trimmer is its ability to produce a thin section of fabric. This is especially useful for histological investigation as it allows to obtain a very thin tissue sample for microscopic analysis and to produce thin cross sections, especially for the study of organ and cell structure.

It consists of a solid metal base on which is located an articulated arm containing a blade, which is attached to the arm by a bolt and is held in place by a nut. The arm can be rotated and adjusted to allow the blade to cut to a desired thickness. The paraffin is placed on the base and secured using a forceps so that the sample is on the articulated arm. Next, turn the nut to adjust the thickness of the blade, then use your hand to press the arm down, causing the blade to cut a paraffin sheet. These are obtained with smaller blades and/or softer paraffin and are generally between 2 and 10 micrometers thick.

Kalstein Paraffin Trimmer or Dispenser

At Kalstein we are manufacturers and pioneers in technological applications designed for our customers. We have the Paraffin Trimmer or Dispenser belonging to the YR series, ideal for pathological anatomy laboratories. They have full automated computer control. It uses a new type of heating element, which allow for fast, efficient, energetic and reliable heating. In addition, it automatically saves the latest operational settings. Among many other features you can see in our catalog HERE