One of my favourite things about conferences is catching up with the other suppliers and checking out all the cool new stuff they have for you. In Cairns in June the lovely lads from Scientrific gave me a sample of the Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector with instructions to try it out as a dissection mat and report back.

Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

The mat comes as a sheet or a roll and you can easily cut a piece to the size you need. It’s designed with all sorts of lab tasks in mind, it’s chemical resistant and absorbs spills.

Foreground - waterproof back of mat, Background - slip resistant front of mat.  Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

Foreground – waterproof back of mat, Background – slip resistant front of mat. Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

The front of the mat is slightly fuzzy and the back has a waterproof coating to stop ‘yuck’ from soaking through on to the bench.   I’m going to test it out on an eye dissection to see how it goes.

Porcine eye dissection performed on Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

Porcine eye dissection performed on Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

The slip resistant surface of the mat held on to the specimen nicely and stopped it from scooting out from under the scalpel blade. Porcine eyes aren’t very big so your fingers are quite close to the blade. The less slippage, the better.  Once the eye was opened the mat soaked up the vitreous humour that spills out and usually makes your dissection tray a bit slippery.

Aftermath of the porcine eye dissection on Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

Aftermath of the porcine eye dissection on Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

I didn’t bother with a dissection board – I just used the mat directly on the table.  You can see the back of the mat here hasn’t let any of the moisture leak through and hasn’t been cut by the normal use of the scalpel.

Waterproof back of mat following porcine eye dissection on Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

Waterproof back of mat following porcine eye dissection on Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

I tested a direct slice with the scalpel onto the mat and it did go straight through but that wouldn’t be a problem during a normal dissection.  Pushing the scalpel straight down through the layers of the cornea onto the mat didn’t cut through it at all.  You would probably use the mat on top of some sort of dissection board in the classroom anyway to avoid any damage to your benchtops.

Hole cut with scalpel in Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

Hole cut with scalpel in Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector from Scientrific

At the end of the dissection your boards and benches should just need a quick spray and wipe down with some disinfectant unless someone has really gone to town with the scalpel on the mat. The mat can be cut to size and then the leftovers can be wrapped up in it and disposed of so there is very little wastage and it will help with tidy up at the end of the class.

All in all, I think this would be a valuable addition to the lab. Not only for dissections but for all sorts of experiments in the classroom as well as for jobs in the prep room.  Don’t forget it is chemical resistant as well so it can be used to protect your benchtops from chemistry experiment spills and thrills.  Next time you see Scientrific at a conference then ask to have a look at a sample.

Miss Vivi

 

The Nalgene Super Versi-Dry Surface Protector sample was supplied free of charge on the understanding that it would be honestly reviewed on this site without influencing the outcome of the review.

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Chicken Pig Cow
brain hemisphere hat from elsevierdirect

Make your own thinking cap – download a Brain Hemisphere Hat from ElsevierDirect

I was having a look through one of my Pinterest boards looking for broken links today and ran across this free printable hemisphere brain hat I had pinned.

You can download a copy for yourself by clicking on the image which will take you out to ElsevierDirect or right click here and choose Save Target As

Elsevier publish one of our anatomy colouring books, too.  If you’d like to see some sample images just have a squeal via email.

Miss Vivi

 

 

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Chicken Pig Cow

This little stunner has been sold, but they suggested it would be a good teaching aid for the classroom.  I’m not sure about that.  Is that a tiny liver on the wrong side of the body above the kidneys?

Miss Vivi

 

 

 

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Chicken Pig Cow