uScope MXII Using Springless Slide Trays on the uScopeMXII
uScope MXII

Information in this article applies to:

  • uScopeMXII (All Models)

Article ID: MXB2339 — Created: 28 Oct 2020 — Reviewed: 30 Oct 2020


From time-to-time customers have prepared slides that are a challenge to slide scanners. One such obstacle is slides that are extra-thick (over 1.5mm).


The uScopeMXII slide tray has springs (slide clips) on each side of the tray that hold the slide in place and keep it stationary during scanning. These springs are designed to accommodate a maximum slide thickness of 1.5mm.

Customers can request a uScope to be built with a springless slide tray. However, this places a few responsibilities on the user to ensure quality scans and proper operation of the uScope.

Slide Tray Components

Slide TrayThis image shows a standard uScopeMXII slide tray (with the springs installed). Slides are inserted label-last (so that the label is sticking out the front of the uScopeMXII). Several parts of the slide tray are necessary for successful scanning.

  • The springs hold the slide stationary while scanning. They are not installed on springless slide trays.
  • The guides keep the edges of the slide from slipping off the top of the tray.
  • The edge supports provide a table on which the edges of the slide rest.
  • The slide retainers are angled in such a way that the far end of the slide is held down in the slide tray.

Using a Springless Slide Tray

Tape on Bottom of SlideNormally, the slide springs hold the label end of the slide down and prevent lateral and longitudinal slide movement while scanning.

With the springs removed, there is nothing to prevent slide movement. Any slide movement results in scans that do not stitch properly and that do not accurately target the desired region of interest.

Our solution is to place a small piece of double-sided tape to the bottom of the slide underneath the inside edge of the label (as shown). A large piece of tape is not required. We have found ½" Scotch (3M) double sided tape works well. It is available at most office supply stores and, of course,

Slide Retention

Slide RetainerWhen you insert a slide into the uScopeMXII, it is important to push the slide in as far as possible. This ensures the far end of the slide is positioned under the slide retainer.

The retainer is angled so that the end of the slide is forced down and does not bounce or lift up while scanning.

The retainer securely holds the far end of the slide down while, in this case, the double-sided tape holds the label end of the slide down. The tape also prevents lateral and longitudinal movement of the slide while scanning.

Inserting the Taped Slide

After Slide (with tape) is InsertedInserting a taped slide into a springless slide tray is a little different than inserting a non-taped slide into a standard slide tray.

  1. Hold the label end of the slide up a little while resting the other end on the slide tray.
  2. Slowly insert the slide into the uScopeMXII allowing the end of the slide to rest (and slide) on the edge supports (#1 in the image shown). The guides will keep the slide centered.
  3. Insert the slide fully until is stops. Then, gently press down on the slide label to adhere the tape to the slide tray (#2 in the image shown).

The slide should feel secure if you attempt to wiggle it in the slide tray. There should be no lateral or longitudinal movement without breaking the adhesive bond of the tape to the slide tray.

Removing a Slide

Perhaps the easiest part of using the uScopeMXII is removing a slide. Simply grab the label end of the slide between your thumb and forefinger and pull straight out. This is the easiest way to break the adhesion between the tape and slide tray. There should be no reason for the slide to catch or stick while removing it.

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