A method of embedding biological specimens in araldite 502 (Ciba) has been developed for materials available in the United States. Araldite-embedded tissues are suitable for electron microscopy, but the cutting qualities of the resin necessitates more than routine attention during microtomy. The rather high viscosity of araldite 502 also seems to be an unnecessary handicap.
The less viscous epoxy epon 812 (Shell) produces specimens with improved cutting qualities, and has several features—low shrinkage and absence of specimen damage during cure, minimal compression of sections, relative absence of electron beam-induced section damage, etc.—which recommends it as a routine embedding material. The hardness of the cured resin can be easily adjusted by several methods to suit the materials embedded in it.
Several problems and advantages of working with sections of epoxy resins are also discussed.