[Histonet] RE: Formic Acid decalcification

Pixley, Sarah (pixleysk) PIXLEYSK <@t> UCMAIL.UC.EDU
Tue Jul 5 09:25:23 CDT 2005

Dear Louise Renton:
Here is a method from a research lab. We use 10% formic acid, but add an ion
exchange resin that soaks up the calcium. This eliminates the need to change
solutions, but brings its own problems since the resin must be stirred. This
is faster than EDTA, but I don't know if it is faster than just a 10% formic
acid solution alone. The mixture is good for many decalcifications. Great
ICC staining. 

Formic Acid Decalcification: Purchase (i.e., Fisher Scientific): 
Rexyn 101 H ion exchange resin 
formic acid (full strength, ~90%).

Make 6-10 liters of 10% formic acid (in double distilled water)
Add 500 g of resin
(So ~50-83 g resin per liter of 10% formic acid)
Need stir bar to keep resin suspended, so put samples in cloth bags (i.e.,
homemade cotton bags) and suspend from side. Alternatively, use lab
dessicator. Samples sit above dessicator plate while stir bar goes

Sarah Pixley, Ph.D.
Dept. of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0521

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