F13 fixative - another formalin substitute


The December Journal of Histotechnology just arrived, with yet another 
formalin substitute, which the authors call F13. The formula is rather 
difficult to extract from the article (I went through the article three times 
before finally finding which PEG - in a table). Only two types of tissue were 
evaluated, placenta and ovarian mucinous borderline tumor, neither a very 
difficult tissue to fix. One wonders particularly whether this fixative will 
work on skin. 

I suspect that this article will spawn some proprietary fixatives, and I'd 
suggest printing this note out for your formalin file!

"Evaluation of ethanol-based fixatives as a substitute for formalin in 
diagnostic clinical laboratories"
The Journal of Histotechnology Dec. 2000:23(4);299-308

Adrian R. Warmington
Department of Anatomical Pathology
Royal Women's Hospital
Carlton, Victoria 3053 Australia

Jenny M. Wilkinson
School of Biomedical Sciences
Charles Sturt University
Wagga Wagga, Australia

Clyde B. Riley
(same address as Warmington)

F13 fixative consists of:
60% ethanol
20% methanol
7% polyethylene glycol (PEG 300) 7%
13% distilled water

Tissues were left in the fixative for 24 hours, then processed through 
ascending alcohols, xylene, and 60C Paraplast (few more details).

The only tissues tested were 4 placentas and 4 borderline mucinous ovarian 

Slides were seen by pathologists. Large numbers of immune stains were done. 
The photomicrographs in the article are difficult to assess for quality.

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