Re: Clorohydrate

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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>
To:"Schell, Maria G." <>
Date:Sat, 12 Jun 1999 17:34:22 -0400 (EDT)
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Thu, 10 Jun 1999, Schell, Maria G. wrote:

> Is there a substitute for clorohydrate ?
> I would like to use it to clear some plant tissue, but it is a contrlled
> substance and very hard to obtain. This was used years ago but I don't know
> if there is something new that works just as well.

  I think you must mean chloral hydrate. For a water-soluble
  substance to enhance transparency, how about glycerol? You can
  transfer the specimen from alcohol or water to an alcohol-glycerol
  mixture (less viscous, so it penetrates better than pure
  glycerol) and then leave uncovered for the alcohol to evaporate
  over the course of a few days. The refractive index of glycerol
  (1.47) is a bit low.  For real transparency dehydrate to 100%
  alcohol, then transfer the specimen to benzyl benzoate (RI 1.57;
  almost odourless), methyl benzoate (1.51; unpleasant smell) or methyl
  salicylate (1.54; strong wintergreen smell). These three esters
  are all miscible with 100% alcohol, xylene, and resinous mounting
  media. (Glycerol mixes with alcohol or water, not with the other

  Hope this helps. 

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

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