water glass as a slide mountant

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water glass as a slide mountant


In a book I am reading they refer to a mountant called water glass, which it seems might replace all the mountants and is available from the chemist.
This is an old book .I think water glass is sodium silicate the stuff in a little packet in a box to help keep the contents dry.
Can any one tell me more about it as a mountant as I have not found any thing yet?
Thank you

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Post by rene »

interesting! Never heard of it as a mountant. Which book is this? I doubt silica gel is exactly the same, even though it is made from it.

Nevertheless, there is a well proven alternative in the form of Kairo syrup, a thick fructose syrup. That works very well, and has been in use for a very long time. I wouldn't like to experiment with new things, if you don't know how well it keeps after say 5 years.
Checkout the old articles by Walter Dioni on the Micscape pages! (http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html)


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More info


Water Glass - Common name for sodium metasilicate (Na2SiO3). It is a colourless, jellylike substance that dissolves readily in water to give a solution used for preserving eggs and fireproofing porous materials such as cloth, paper, and wood. It is also used as an adhesive for paper and cardboard and in the manufacture of soap and silica gel, a substance that absorbs moisture.

The book its in is The microscope made easy by Laurence A Wells he to says its used for preserving eggs preserving eggs.

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Water Glass = Glycerine Jelly

Post by mvbrooks »

I always thought that water glass was just glycerine and jelatin. The old fomula is to mix a packet ( 7 grams) of store bought jelatin with just enough tap water to dissolve it - 25 ml or so. Heat over an alcohol lmapo until dissolved. Then, add this to 75 ml of 180 to 200 degree C glycerine. Mix well. Set aside, loosely covered, in a warm place for several days to allow all of the water to evaporate. Cut this into thin ribbons and store.

Normally used to mount & preserve plant specimens. Mix 50 or less with a specimen in an aquatious media. Heat over an alcohol lamp to dissolve the two together and add a cover slip. For a permanent mount, ring the cover slip with gold size, or better, plain airplane hobbiest clear AeroGloss. I have used this with some microscopic animal mounts, too, and it is especially good for protist mounts.

This from my very old college notes (circa 1970).
Mike Brooks

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Re: Water Glass = Glycerine Jelly

Post by rjlittlefield »

mvbrooks wrote:I always thought that water glass was just glycerine and jelatin. ... This from my very old college notes (circa 1970).
Interesting. I've never heard of "waterglass" meaning anything other than sodium metasilicate, and that's definitely the classic stuff for preserving eggs.

When I Googled on waterglass gelatin glycerine, I got nothing that links the terms together. I suspect the instructor used the word incorrectly or by accident and it got duly copied into your notes.

For what it's worth, Google search of both Internet and Books on waterglass microscope slide mounting and similar phrases turned up nothing that struck me as relevant.

So, from literature search only, I'd say that waterglass is pretty far from mainstream. Given that it's also cheap and easy to get, you'd think it would have caught on if it were great stuff.

Several formulas for mix-it-yourself aqueous mounting media are described at http://www.ihcworld.com/_protocols/hist ... medium.htm
Summary. Instructions are given for making five aqueous mounting media: glycerol jelly, buffered glycerol with anti-fade, fructose syrup, Apathy's gum-syrup, and a polyvinylpyrrolidone medium whose composition can be varied to suit the user's needs. For each, hints are given on usage and the preservation of the coverslipped preparations. Media made in the laboratory are cheaper than commercial aqueous mountants, and do not contain any secret ingredients.
I have no personal experience with waterglass and precious little with any mountants, so I can't offer much more.