[Histonet] isopropanol

From:Bryan Llewellyn

I used isopropanol quite a bit years ago.  It dehydrates satisfactorily, 
although it is not as efficient as absolute ethanol.  It leaves the tissues 
a little more brittle than ethanol does, so the sectioning is slightly 
different.  I never found any difference in speed, certainly not to the 
degree you appear to be looking for.  Our reasons for using it had to do 
with the problems getting a license for using ethanol in Britain at that 

In essence, any time you speed up processing, particularly for fatty 
tissues, you will reduce quality.  That is usually the trade off.  Cutting 
thinner blocks and using a fast fixative (like Carnoy or Clark) are probably 
the only things that might help, and fixatives like that have their own 
issues regarding the quality of the morphology in the finished preparation. 
Essentially, what you are looking for has been done decades ago, and the 
times and procedures we use now is the result.

Bryan Llewellyn

----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 5:36 AM
Subject: [Histonet] (no subject)

> Does anyone use Isopropyl Alcohol instead of Ethyl Alcohol on their
> processor?  Does anyone feel it does a better job at dehydrating the
> tissue?  At the request of the pathologists, I am looking for any method
> that will speed up the processing time for breast tissue.  Any information
> and/or suggestion is welcome.
> Thank you.
> David S. Ahmed
> Chief Histology Technician
> Department of Pathology
> M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
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