[Histonet] Ammonia water pH

From:"Tim Webster"

Hi All,

I'm curious to know what people's procedures are for making and using ammonia water as a bluing agent in regressive H&E's.
Currently, our methodology is to make the ammonia water up daily from a 28% stock bottle, and the pH is about 11.  My feeling is that 11 is way to high and that 9-10 is plenty alkaline to blue sections adequately.  Additionally, I'm concerned about strong alkaline solution increasing the likelihood of sections washing off or wrinkling.  Sheehan & Hrapchak call for a "weak" alkaline solution in "Theory and Practice of Histotechnology".  
Also, I can see no reason not to make a working solution weekly/monthly and simply empty and refill the Ammonia water station.  The pH doesn't appear to drop off over time.

Thanks for your time, and have a great week! 


Tim Webster
Histology Specialist
Northwestern Medical Center
133 Fairfield Street,
St Albans, VT 05478
(802) 524-1070 (x4349)

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