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Looking for help regarding decapod microsurgery

  1. Jan 24, 2010 #1
    I'm doing microsurgery on young, live male decapods (.3g-.5g) and am having trouble finding forceps that will grip and extract the vas deferens through muscle tissue without slipping. The forceps I am now using have a straight tip (.05mm x .2mm) and are the perfect size. While I am comfortable working with a dissection microscope, getting used to forceps this small has been an obstacle. Even with a light touch the vas deferens slips through the tips, and the slightest bump against the carapace bends the tips. It's like trying to pull a thread of oil out of a block of ballistics gelatin. Is there a specific type of forceps I should be using for this kind of work, and if so what? I'm sure a lot of this boils down to a learning curve for technique, so any help on where to find additional resources for this type of work is also greatly appreciated, as would good reference sources for microsurgical techiques.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2010 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    Have you searched either Fine Science Tools or WPI for products?

    Also, have you considered using a micromanipulator to hold the tool?
  4. Jan 25, 2010 #3
    Yes, the forceps I am using came from FST. They work great, except for my not being able to grip the internal tissues with them. That's why I think a lot of it comes down to developing a good technique in using them. I've never worked with forceps this small (.05mm x .2mm) before.

    The micromanipulator is an excellent idea, but won't allow for the range of motion required to accomplish the task. Because these animals are alive, they move. Sometimes they flip over and other times they move legs, which requires a free-moving tool to get them out of the way. There is also a lot of probing within the wound opening.

    I've considered using some kind of micro-suctioning device, but that might be too traumatizing. The other option would be using one of the small-vessel cauterizers on the market to incinerate the tissue. If I could totally destroy a sphere of tissue ~1mm in diameter it would probably work, but I might have the same trauma problem as with suctioning. Plus I could destroy more than 10 pair of forceps for the cost of one cauterizer.
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