RE: [Histonet] Bone decalcification

From:"Smith, Allen"

Although every textbook I've seen limits Bouin's fixation to 72 hours or
less, I have occasionally gotten away with fixing in Bouin's for a week (168

Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Anatomy
Barry University School of Graduate Medical Sciences
    Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Miami Shores, Florida  33161

-----Original Message-----
From: Gayle Callis [] 
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2006 1:20 PM
To: Smith, Allen;
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Bone decalcification


You are correct.

Zenkers (although mercury is no longer environmentally acceptable) will fix 
and decalcify, and some have used this in the past for Jamshidi bone biopsy 

Bouins with acetic acid works for tiny decalcifications, and I have seen a 
Bouins modification using formic acid in place of acetic acid - not too 
much different than what you suggest here.  Neither worked very well on 
thicker cortical bone, and I would not like to fix a long time in Bouins 
(72 hours is an upper limit recommended fixation ala histotext books and 
the bone may not be totally decalcified by then).

We store our stock picric acid under a layer of water, check it very 
frequently and make sure the edges of lids do not seep out picric acid ( 
sealed with hot paraffin) to exist in powder form on exterior of lid.

At 08:53 AM 4/24/2006, you wrote:
>Heather's question is not at all unreasonable.  Some acids are pretty
>fixatives.  While I learned histotechnique back in the Dark Ages, I was
>taught to fix and decalcify simulataneously.  We used 85% saturated aqueous
>picric acid, 10% formalin, and 5% formic acid.  The explosive nature of dry
>picric acid has made this formula less popular than it used to be.
>Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.

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

The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential, and/or privileged material. No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any errant transmission. If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system and notify the sender.  E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses.
Barry University - Miami Shores, FL ( 

Histonet mailing list

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>