RE: [Histonet] Zinc formalin and 10% NBF

From:"Marshall Terry Dr, Consultant Histopathologist"

Having only once used zinc as a primary fixative (in NZ), and having used it for 30 years as a secondary fixative, I can say with some confidence that it just isn't as good as a secondary fixative, but does improve the sections - i.e., better than not having it. 
However, the only time I've not had complaints about the tissue being crisp, brittle and lifting off is when used as a primary fixative.

Conclusion: Zinc and pathologists who use it as a secondary fixative are tiresome.

Dr Terry L Marshall, B.A.(Law), M.B.,Ch.B.,F.R.C.Path
 Consultant Pathologist
 Rotherham General Hospital
 South Yorkshire

-----Original Message-----
From: Gayle Callis []
Sent: 27 April 2004 16:21
To: Marshall Terry Dr, Consultant Histopathologist;
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Zinc formalin and 10% NBF

Have used zinc formalin mixture, but not in house preparation, we purchased
it from Anatech and never experienced crisp nor difficult to section
paraffin embedded tissues.  We never went back into NBF though (on
processor) and did routine tissue processing starting in 70% ethanol.
Pre-rinsing was very short, 5 minutes to remove fixative on outside of
tissues, doubtful it was extensive enough to remove zinc formalin further
into tissues.  Our human kidney biopsies were fixed in Zinc formalin, hand
processed through a very short biopsy schedule - the sectioning was
wonderful, 1 to 2 um sections were possible, without tears, biopsy was
never crispy! 

Staining was crisp, sectioning was normal. 

Gayle Callis
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology 
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 173610
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-6367 (lab with voice mail)
406 994-4303 (FAX)

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