Processing fetal brain tissue

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Fellow netters:
    I have a real problem, looking for a solution (no pun intended).
    We process approximately 100 fetal autopsies per year, and most of them 
contain extensive neuro studies. 
    My laboratory is part of a large system and standardization is the 
current buzz word. We are attempting to standardize most processes and 
    During our processing cycles on the VIP, we are not getting adequate 
stiffening of this very difficult tissue. It constantly wants to crumble and 
    We employ zinc formalin fixation, and fix for several days before 
sectioning takes place. And allow the sections to remain in fresh fix an 
additional 24 hours after the gross is taken.
    My question and hopefully your solutions focus on what can we do to 
attain improved processing, so the embedding process is more successful and 
our sections appear better for our pathologist.
    At one juncture the lab employed CBA formalin, and the resultant sections 
were better, but under our standardization process, we cannot use the CBA 
formalin any longer.
    You thoughts and remarks are most welcome.

  Jerry Meade
   Detroit Medical Center
   University Laboratories
   Hutzel Hospital
   Detroit, Mi.

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