A chamber that can maintain very low temperatures. Medical laboratories use a cryostat to preserve frozen tissue samples while a microtome, an extremely sharp cutting instrument mounted inside cryostats, slices the tissue into pieces thin enough to be observed under a microscope. The sliced piece must be so thin as to look nearly transparent. A pathologist, a laboratory doctor trained to identify evidence of disease in microscopic structures, then examines the slice to confirm or rule out the presence of a disease, such as cancer. Use of frozen tissue samples enables physicians to examine tissue and diagnose its condition more quickly than if the tissue had been preserved without freezing. Microtomes may be used alone, without cryostats, to yield thin microscopic samples. For example, researchers have used microtomes to remove samples from the Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth imprinted with a negative photographic image of a man. Many Christians believe this shroud was the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, who was said to have imprinted his image on it miraculously. The microscopic samples taken with a microtome have been used to attempt to prove or disprove the validity of belief. "Cryostat" is derived from the Greek "kryos" (cold) and "statos" (standing, stationary, like the cryostat chamber). "Kryos" gives us many English words, such as "cryonics" (use of coldness in medicine to bring about beneficial results) and "cryosurgery" (use of below- freezing temperatures to destroy disease). "Statos" and related Greek words give us such English words as "static" and "stationary."
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A freezing chamber. [cryo- + G. statos, standing]

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cryo·stat 'krī-ə-.stat n an apparatus for maintaining a constant low temperature esp. below 0°C (as by means of liquid helium) esp one containing a microtome for obtaining sections of frozen tissue
cryo·stat·ic .krī-ə-'stat-ik adj

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1. a chamber in which frozen tissue is sectioned with a microtome.
2. a device for maintaining a specific low temperature.

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cryo·stat (kriґo-stat″) [cryo- + -stat] 1. a device by which temperature can be maintained at a very low level. 2. in pathology and histology, a chamber containing a microtome for sectioning frozen tissue.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cryostat — [ krijɔsta ] n. m. • 1903; de cryo et stat ♦ Phys. Récipient thermiquement isolé permettant de maintenir, pour une durée limitée, des produits à basse température. ● cryostat nom masculin Appareil conçu pour réaliser des cryotempératures. (Ce… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • cryostat — cry o*stat n. a thermostat that operates at very low temperatures. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cryostat — [krī′ō stat΄, krīəstat΄] n. [ CRYO + STAT] a regulator for maintaining a constant, low temperature …   English World dictionary

  • Cryostat — NASA s WISE infrared instrument is kept cold by a cryostat. The cryostat can be seen at the top of the spacecraft. A cryostat (from cryo meaning cold and stat meaning stationary) is a device used to maintain cold cryogenic temperatures. Low… …   Wikipedia

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  • cryostat — kriostatas statusas T sritis Standartizacija ir metrologija apibrėžtis Įtaisas pastoviai žemai temperatūrai (mažesnei negu –100 ºC) išlaikyti. atitikmenys: angl. cryostat vok. Kryostat, m rus. криостат, m pranc. cryostat, m …   Penkiakalbis aiškinamasis metrologijos terminų žodynas

  • cryostat — kriostatas statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. cryostat vok. Kältebad, n; Kryostat, m rus. криостат, m pranc. cryostat, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • cryostat — kriostatas statusas T sritis Energetika apibrėžtis Prietaisas tiriamiems objektams laikyti pastovioje žemoje (<120 °C) temperatūroje, kuriai gauti naudojami šaldomieji mišiniai, suskystintos arba sukietintos dujos. Paprasčiausias kriostatas… …   Aiškinamasis šiluminės ir branduolinės technikos terminų žodynas

  • cryostat — kriostatas statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Prietaisas pastoviai žemai temperatūrai (< −100 °C) palaikyti. atitikmenys: angl. cryostat rus. криостат …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • cryostat — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1913 an apparatus for maintaining a constant low temperature especially below 0°C • cryostatic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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