Re: decalcification process

From:Gerard Spoelstra <>

We pretreat all decalcified bone excluding biopsies with 1-2% fabric
softener ( just a household softener that goes in with the washing) for an
hour. This makes an enormous difference. It appears to improve the
impregnation of the tissues by the parrafin. 

We also use 5% Nitric Acid routinely for decalcification as its cheap,rapid
and does little damage to tisses as long as you keep an eye on the
endpoint. The endpoint is easily measured by dispensing about 5ml of the
decal solution form the pot containing the decalcifying bone. Add
concentrated ammoninia solution to this until the decal solution turns
alkaline using litmus paper. If calcium is still present the decal solution
will turn cloudy. When it no longer turns cloudy the endpoint is reached.
For larger pieces of bone when you are approaching the endpoint you may
have to leave it in the decal for longer to be conviced you have reached
the endpoint.

Gerard Spoelstra
Biomedical and Veterinary Science
Murdoch University
Western Australia

At 10:50 AM 7/12/00 -0800, you wrote:
>If all else fails, you could try clearing in cedarwood oil (See Culling
>for method). This takes a long time, but it leaves the decalcified tissue
>much more cuttable than xylene or even chloroform.
>Lesley Weston.
>On Thu, 7 Dec 2000, Neuropathology wrote:
>> Keep in mind that you may have completed decacification.  Your cutting
>> problems might be reduced by treating with something like mollifex or
>> conditioner.
>> Andy Shand
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Mack, Jacquie <>
>> To: Histonet information (E-mail) <>
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 4:50 PM
>> Subject: decalcification process
>> >
>> > Does anyone have any suggestions regarding decalcifying cortical bone?
>> > have a mandible here we've been trying to decalcify for weeks.  17%
>> > acid, then RDO (a commercial rapid decalcified).  We are still
>> encountering
>> > a lot of problems cutting sections on our blocks!
>> >
>> > PH: 670-1574
>> > e mail:
>> >
>> >

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