[Histonet] Dry paraformaldehyde vapor

Geoff McAuliffe mcauliff <@t> umdnj.edu
Fri Feb 18 18:03:42 CST 2005

Hot paraformaldehyd vapors were used to induce fluorescence of aminergic 
neurotransmitters in freeze-dried tissues. This method dates from the 
early 1960's. Osmium vapors have been used by protozoologists to fix 
drops of protozoa on coverslips for .... long before I became a 
biologist. One does not have to get one's nose too close to a bottle of 
paraformaldehyde to realize that the vapors are very noxious. I think 
vapor fixation has been used to preserve secretions of the respiratory 
system but I can't come up with a reference off the top of my head.


Kelly D Mcqueeney wrote:

> In order to avoid tritium contamination of screens, I have been fixing 
> my slides with paraformaldehyde vapor. PF powder is placed in the 
> bottom of a dessicator with slides. Air is removed from the dessicator 
> and the air-tight chamber exposes the tissue to paraformaldehyde 
> overnight. Has anyone used this method? I am having a hard time 
> understanding why the powder alone is sufficient for fixation. Liquid 
> fixative is not an option because the receptor/lingand complex is 
> washed off. The protocol is vaguely outlined in Biotechiques 
> 26:432-434; Liberatore, et. al. 1999.
> Thanks for your input,
> Kelly
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Geoff McAuliffe, Ph.D.
Neuroscience and Cell Biology
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854
voice: (732)-235-4583; fax: -4029 
mcauliff <@t> umdnj.edu

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