RE: [Histonet] Isopropyl alcohol and paraffin wax

From:Jenny Oblander

When microwaving is used in histoprocessing, these procedures are not only
accelerated, but fundamentally changed:

Completion of fixation is achieved prior to histoprocessing in the microwave
Dehydration is achieved in one step, instead of the 2-6 steps used in
conventional procedures. The use of a graded series of alcohols is not
necessary in the microwave method. 
Isopropanol can be substituted for xylene as a clearing agent, and one bath
is sufficient. 
Higher temperatures are required for the impregnation of the paraffin wax. 
Therefore, microwave histoprocessing becomes a three-step process:

One dehydration step 
One clearing step 
One paraffin wax step (at two temperatures) 

This is from Microwave technique- Energy Beam Sciences
-----Original Message-----
From: Smith, Allen []
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 1:18 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Isopropyl alcohol and paraffin wax

Miscible means mutually soluble in ALL proportions.
Isopropyl alcohol and paraffin was are definitely not miscible.
However, they are mutually soluble to a limited degree.
I just did a few crude solubility estimates by eyeball in my lab:
I got about half a gram of "Paraplast" to dissolve in 100 ml of gently
boiling isopropyl alcohol.
I was able to get 30 ml of isopropyl alcohol to dissolve in 100 ml of molten
Both solutions become cloudy suspensions on cooling.
I have not tried transferring tissue directly from isopropyl alcohol to
molten paraffin, but it seems that the experiment would be worth trying.

Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Anatomy
School of Graduate Medical Sciences 
Barry University 
Miami Shores, FL
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