Protocol Online logo
Top : Forum Archives: : Cell Biology

Coverslips - Glass or plastic? (Aug/15/2006 )

I was wondering what coverslips to use: glass or plastic?
Does anyone know what advantages (in general) glass coverslips have on plastic ones. I know already by experience that handling plastic coverslips is easier.
What about autofluorescence for example? Do you get more autofluorescence with plastic or with glass?


For the sake of taking good pictures, i would go with glass cover slips. but one could argue that since one side of the slide is glass, its shouldnt matter of u use plastic coverslips on the other side.

But I would prefer glass coverslips.


I would use glass coverslips.

Glass coverslips have a better reflective index than plastic ones. In addition, glass is harder to get scratch than plastic.

Hope this may help.

-Minnie Mouse-

It really depends on why you want to make a slide in the first place.
If you're just looking at the slides there and then, then in most cases it makes no odds what type you use.

However, if you're storing your slides for the medium to long term then plastic may be not the way to go as it can discolour, degrade or be attacked by various substances (possibly your fixing agent), whereas glass, when kept well will look immaculate years (decades) later.

Personally, I'd stick with glass for all work. Old school, y'see.


I run a confocal area and we use glass coverslips for all our work. You do not get more autofluorescence with glass.

Advantage : easily autoclavable and easy to handle.

Disadvantage : When using cells the adherence may not be as good as plastic. You may need to use attachments factors i.e Fibronectin, Laminin, Collagen etc. which can be expensive.