Re: Sucrose Formalin

From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>

On Mon, 13 Nov 2000, Mike Delorenzo wrote:

> One of our pathologist is inquiring about a "sucrose formalin solution". I have never heard of it does anyone have a recipe? Thanks

Pearson, CK 1963. A formalin-sucrose-ammonia fixative for
cholinesterases. J Histochem Cytochem 11: 665-666.

Formalin 10 ml
Sucrose  15 G
O.880 Ammonia  1 ml
Water to 100 ml

The sucrose makes this fixative decidedly hypertonic
and can also be expected to confer some cryoprotection.
The ammonia (presumably added to oppose acidity from the
formalin) in this mixture will react with some of the
formaldehyde to form hexamine, which shouldn't do any
good or harm. Pearson didn't seem to know about this.
The fixative was introduced as being superior to

Nowadays buffered formaldehyde solutions are generally 
preferred, with subsequent cryoprotection usually in 30%
sucrose, though 60% is said to be best (Lepault J +3 al
1997 J Microsc 187: 158-166).

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

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