Re: Using Mineral Oil instead of Xylene in processing tissue

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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>
To:Mary Stevens <>
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On Mon, 10 Jul 2000, Mary Stevens wrote:

> There was a paper in 1992 - Vegetable Oils instead of Xylene in Tissue Processing", APMIS 100:827-83l which may make interesting reading for those of you interested in making the transition to oils. 
> Mary

  Thanks very much. I'll look it up. Veggie oils are a bit like the
  thicker mineral ones: mix with xylene or wax or higher alcohols,
  but not (or not completely) with ethanol. Lillie's big book notes
  the use of gasolene as a clearing agent in wartime. It had to be
  fuel for aeroplanes (not cars) for some reason - perhaps alcohol
  miscibility. (Sorry, haven't got the book to hand right now.) 

  Essential oils, which do mix with ethanol, were used in the days
  when it was impossible for a simple scientist to obtain ethyl
  alcohol better than 95%. Some of the essential oils can carry
  a specimen from 85% or so to paraffin wax. Cedarwood oil was and
  still is generally considered the best. I think terpineol (synthetic
  oil of lilac) is just as good and it's less expensive. 

 John A. Kiernan,
 Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
 The University of Western Ontario,
 LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1


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