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How to Make Wet Mount Microscope Slides?



Making microscope slides in a wet mount has a lot of advantages. The liquid refraction makes it much easier to see intricate structures. If the specimen is alive, the liquid will make it possible to view both the natural color and mobility patterns.

To make a wet mount, place a few drops of your desired liquid on the slide. Add the specimen to your liquid, and then place a few more drops on top of it. This ensures that the specimen will be covered in the liquid. If you are looking at an aquatic specimen like algae, use the water in which the specimen is residing.

Next apply the cover slip. This is done very gently in order to avoid the formation of air bubbles. Slowly lower the cover down at an angle, and it will eventually be held in place by surface tension. If the cover slip is floating on the bottom half of the slide, you have used too much liquid.

There are a variety of liquids that are acceptable for making a wet mount, from tap water to glycerin. The important thing to consider is your type of specimen. Some specimens don’t do well when faced with particular liquids. Be sure to choose your liquid carefully to match your specimen.


Wet mounts have disadvantages as well. Finding a moving specimen can be a problem. The slides also tend to dry out under the light of the microscope. If your wet mounts are drying out before you are ready, apply an additional drop of liquid under the cover slip.


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