A Lousy day and permanent slides

A few months ago, a young micronaut, Aditi, had a lice infestation on her hair and before subjecting her to the lice treatment we got a couple of the critters and foldscoped them.  Without much ado here are the  collated videos.

One of the things I have been wanting to do is to make some permanent slides and what better than to encase this memorable day to make a permanent slide of the louse? For this I used Pantin’s method as written by the fantastic Walter Dioni here.

  1. The lice were put in rubbing alcohol to kill them immediately.
  2.  A plastic tube was first filled with about half ml of  Lactoglycerol (a 1:1 solution of Lactic acid and glycerol). This was layered with an equal volume of glycerol and finally an equal volume of rubbing alcohol.  I bought my Glycerol and rubbing alcohol in a local pharmacy and Lactic Acid (used in skin products) over the internet.
  3. The lice were dropped into this and the system was left undisturbed for about a couple of days at the end of which the lice were nicely settled to the bottom.
  4.  I then used Karo (High Fructose corn syrup which is commonly available in grocery  stores) to make a solid mount, using the same protocol described by Walter Dioni in this article. For this I dropped the lice on a drop of Karo on the coverslip, put a drop of Karo on a slide and inverted the cover-slip over the slide so that the two drops meet. I put a light pressure on it (20g) and let it solidify for a day. The Karo solidified at the thin edge.
  5. Finally I sealed the slide with Nail Polish.

The final result was really pleasing, a permanent slide with two lice in one slide. I also made another permanent slide with a tick that bit a member of my house. This method is really great for small invertebrates.

We projected this for Aditi to draw and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. These slides apparently last 10-20 years in the least and might make a good 20th year gift 🙂

Good to be back on microcosmos.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    What a beautiful result @aditi and @Laks. We often get samples which we don’t know what they are; and a permanent slide could act as a “golden sample”.. very valuable protocol specially since it looks like kitchen items 🙂

    Welcome back; we were missing you.

  2. laksiyer says:

    @Manu, will put this into protocols.io. Except for lactic acid, everything else I bought from the local grocery store or pharmacy. Am now trying methods to preserve rotifers and nematodes, the above doesnt work with them very well.

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