The most common technique used in tissue examination is the production of histological sections that can be examined with a light microscope. When using a light microscope, tissues are examined by shining light rays through them.
Because tissues and organs are usually thick enough to allow light to pass through, their examination requires thin, transparent sections. However, living cells, very thin layers of tissue, or transparent film preparations of live animals (eg, mesentery, tadpole tail, wall of the hamster’s buccal sac) can be observed directly using a microscope without preliminary cutting.
Therefore, such structures can be studied for a long time under various physiological and experimental conditions.
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In most cases, however, thin sections of the tissue are prepared and attached to microscope slides to enable tissue examination. Such sections are obtained with high precision from previously prepared tissues using precision cutting instruments – microtomes.
In an ideal microscopic preparation, the tissue should be preserved in such a way that on the cut it has the same structure and molecular composition as in a living organism. Sometimes this is possible, but practically difficult to achieve, so artifacts, distortions and loss of components almost always occur due to the tissue preparation process.