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Mastering your brain smear technique


  • Place match-head sized piece of grey matter ~2 cm from end of glass slide
  • Lay second slide on top of grey matter at right angles to the first
  • Drag top glass slide sideways to the far end of the lower slide (gently squashes the material and spreads it thinly)
  • Send to lab – do not stain, do not apply coverslip.
Above: Technique for doing brain smears (QDAF 2009 ‘Making blood and organ smears for tick fever diagnosis’)
TIP: Multiple brain smear slides enables the lab to use more than one type of stain in their diagnostic workup.