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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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On Wed, 3 Mar 1999 wrote:

> Can someone reply to Jose's questions regarding a decalcifier using
> trichloroacetic acid.
> > Please reply to: E-Mail:

  Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) = Cl3CCOOH

  Precipitates proteins. Ingredient of Heidenhain's SUSA fixative.
  Really nasty stuff. Makes holes in your skin. Be very careful
  weighing it out. It dissolves easily in atmospheric water, so
  a bottle of solid TCA often contains a saturated solution. You
  can treat this as 120% TCA in making up mixtures.

  TCA can also extract nucleic acids from tissue.

  I can see no good reason to use TCA for decalcifying. Formic
  acid is probably the best general-purpose decalcifier. Adjust
  to pH 2 and there should be no adverse effects on ordinary
  staining methods.

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

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