RE: [Histonet] soften formalin fixed samples

From:"Marshall Terry Dr, Consultant Histopathologist"


We are having trouble at the moment with poor clearing, giving a grey cast, and sometimes a steely opaque look to things. Do you think that actually reducing processing times in alcohol and xylene may help, or is this as absurd as it sounds?

Dr Terry L Marshall, B.A.(Law), M.B.,Ch.B.,F.R.C.Path
 Consultant Pathologist
 Rotherham General Hospital
 South Yorkshire

-----Original Message-----
From: Gayle Callis []
Sent: 27 July 2004 16:13
To: Leclerc Jocelyne;
Subject: Re: [Histonet] soften formalin fixed samples

First,  check you tissue processing schedule, it may be too long - 
overexposure to alcohols removes too much bound water (bound to proteins) 
rather than just free water, over exposure to xylene also hardens tissue, 
and heat of paraffin is very drying.  If you samples are very tiny, you can 
have shorter processing schedule to prevent drying out of tissue.

Second, you can face or trim the block, and place it face down on a block 
of ice with water on top of ice, or just use ice water.  This has been 
discussed recently on Histonet (at great length) - go to archives and do a 
search for more hints.

At 03:16 AM 7/27/2004, you wrote:
>Good morning everybody!
>I have a problem with my formalin fixed samples: they are just too hard. Now
>I wonder if there is a possibility to soften or "remoisture" them.
>I would be very pleased if anyone of you felt able to help me.
>Thank you and best regards,
>VetSuisse Fakultät
>Veterinär-Anatomisches Institut
>Winterthurerstr. 260
>8057 Zürich
>Histonet mailing list

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

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