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Grids: Shiny Side vs Dull Side?

Retention of sections on grids during poststaining and immunocytochemical procedures frequently is of crucial importance in the electron microscopy laboratory. Opinions differ regarding the side of grids most suitable for permanent adhesion. The controversy is easily solved by examination of the surfaces involved. Grids are manufactured with a dull or rough side, and a shiny or smooth side. Epoxy sections exhibit a bumpy surface when viewed in the boat. Scanning electron microscopy images of epoxy sections without embedded material also reveal an uneven surface. Let us imagine a grid to be a single sided piece of sandpaper and the section to be a double sided piece of sandpaper. Sandpaper grips another piece of sandpaper much more readily than it does a smoothly polished metal surface. For the most secure adhesion of sections to grids SECTIONS SHOULD BE PICKED UP ON THE ROUGH SIDE OF THE GRID.

Reference: Hildegard H. Crowley, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Denver, Denver, CO. 80208