formalin substitutes

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>
From:Becky Scholes <>
Content-Type:text/plain; format=flowed

Hi, Histonetters,

This is in response to the questions about xylene and formalin substitutes.  
We tried formalin substitutes when our pathologist was concerned about 
sending wet tissues in the mail/FedEx/UPS.  We never found one that would 
not freeze, and still had good nuclear detail.  However, we liked the 
results of Safe-Fix on bloody and small tissue AFTER initial formalin 
fixation.  Since we have the luxury of two processors, one is for the "big" 
tissues, and the other one, with Safe-Fix is for the biopsies and bloody 

We tried several xylene substitutes, but discovered that it was not very 
cost effective.  Since we work in balmy Iowa, the xylene substitues became 
very hydroscopic in the summer, and we had to change the entire xylene setup 
in the staining line about every day.  And you still have to recycle it.  
AND we found out that the cytotechs, who insist on the xylene substitute, 
have to use Permount, which takes forever and a day to dry.  So they place 
their slide folders in the drying oven and bake the slides.  Therefore, 
slide folders need replaced more often, since the tops keep ripping off, 
since the glue dries from the oven heat.  Not worth it!  Give me Acrytol, a 
fast drying mounting media, and xylene any day!  I'll use a good fume hood.  
We air dry for a week, and then file.  No sticky slides.  No folders falling 

Bec the Tec
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>