spray fixative

From:Susan Owens


I don't know what type of cell preps your friend is/will do, BUT if you have
been around for 20 years or more you may remember allot of cytology labs in
the 70's and 80's used "AQUA NET" Professional Hair Spray for all their pap
smears(I remember it as the 'red' can.)....Doing hundred of thousands  of
pap smears, with two slides each, we used lots of spray. The small , travel
size can was supplied to the doctors office to spray fix the smears before

They stain like any other spray fix that you start in ABS.ALC. rinse first
to remove the spray.

Some testing of various hair sprays was done in those years( and a paper
published) and the cheapest(Aqua Net) turned out to be the best for fixing
the pap smears....It's been too many years for me to remember in which
journal the testing and results were published.

Today a large can in the grocery store sells for around .99 cents(I still
use it)..Now that's the regular spray. ONE REGULAR SIZE CAN( net.wt. 7 oz )
should do a thousand or more slides.(One sprays the slides, not give them a
bath in it. (hehe)

Test it out and see if it will work for his preps (hope they haven't changed
the formula)..You sure can't get a fixative any cheaper. One or two cans may
do the whole project.

NOTE:  Because the cans were out of our control once they reach the doctors
office, we had a inexpensive label made to cover the can so the nursing
staff wouldn't use it to fix their hair and/or take it home with them.
You can make labels on your home computer these days and just glue it over
the can...If there is a need for the smaller travel size can ( about 2-3 oz
I think)...I just called the manuf. for the name of a local supplier, but
then we were buying many cases.

Hope this helps his budget.


Susan Owens HT
voice: 817-261-7938
fax: 817-548-9876

Date: 16 Jul 2002 12:30:48 -0500
From: Amy Porter 
Subject: Spray Fixative for Cell preps

We have a client that is preparing cytospin preps for a research project
without a lot of funding.  Does anyone out there have a formula for making
spray fixative from scratch?  Have inspected the bottle that we purchase
commercially and have all of the reagents needed but can't locate a
Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Amy S.Porter, HT(ASCP)
Michigan State University
College of Human Medicine



<< Previous Message | Next Message >>