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What is wet mount microscope slides?

 A wet mount slide is exactly what it sounds like. A specimen is suspended in some type of liquid between a blank microscope slide and a cover. The liquid refracts the light, making the specimen easier to see. Wet mounts let the viewer observe the natural color or movement of the specimen.

There are many types of liquids that can be used for a wet mount microscope slide. Aquatic specimens can be taken directly from the water they inhabit and put on the slide. Sometimes a salt-water solution is used to dilute the specimen in order to be able to view it.

Glycerin is occasionally used because of its high refractive properties. It can dry out or kill live specimens, so it is better to use this mixture for plant species. Water and glycerin can be blended together if the light refraction needs to be lowered.

Immersion oil can also be used to make wet mounts, but it doesn’t work well with synthetic materials. Immersion oil wet mounts are completed by placing a drop of oil on top of the cover of the slide. Specimens that don’t do well in water can be wet mounted with immersion oil.

Wet mount prepared slides work very well for all types of samples. However, they will dry out over time. That is why wet slides are considered to be a temporary mount for specimens. Moving specimens can also be harder for the viewer to locate on the slide.

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