Paper on formalin substitutes

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From:"Anatech Ltd." <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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The only published article comparing formalin substitutes that I am aware of,

"Commercial Formalin Substitutes for Histopathology" by Prento and
Lyon, 1997, Biotechnic and Histochemistry 72:273-282

did not recommend any of the tested commercial products.  However, the
paper has two major drawbacks.  First, the authors did not use the
fixatives as recommended by the manufacturers.  They employed cold
fixation, which certainly slows down the rate of penetration and chemical
reactivity with the tissue.  It is not surprising that tissues appeared to
be poorly fixed.

Second, they did not test an entire family of formalin substitutes,
containing glyoxal, which is rapidly gaining acceptance worldwide.  Unlike
the other substitutes, these preoducts react with tissues in the same way
that formaldehyde does (through hydroxyls, sulfydryls and amino groups,
among others).  Penetration and reactivity are faster than formaldehyde.
Immunoreactivity are very well preserved.  Optical images resemble those
after proper (24-48 hours) exposure to formalin.

Here is a great opportunity for someone not affiliated with industry to
make a significant contribution to the scientific literature.  The Journal
of Histotechnology or Biotechnic & Histochemistry would be ideal places to
submit the work.  The former will do everything possible to assist
first-time authors.


Richard W. Dapson, Ph.D.
1020 Harts Lake Road
Battle Creek, MI  49015
800-262-8324 or 616-964-6450
Fax 616-964-8084

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