What are the differences between manual, semi-automated, and automated microtomes?
Industry standards dictate that manual would include two (2) hand wheels; one on the left for advancing and retracting the specimen block and a wheel on the right that allows the block to move up and down to create sections.
The semi-automated microtome replaces the left handwheel with an electronic form of advancement and retraction through a hand pad or mounted display.
In contrast, most fully automated microtomes, in addition to replacing the left hand wheel function, also replace the right hand wheel function as well, and allow the operator to vary the speed of the sectioning process through the hand pad.
Today, a brand new line of microtomes, called SHURCut Artis, additionally enable the operator to physically turn the right wheel to move the block up and down to produce sections, allowing the choice of operating in a semi-automated or fully automated manner. If you would like to learn more about the SHURCut Artis, here is a link to more information:
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