[Histonet] RE: pfa vs. formalin

Melissa Gonzalez Melissa.Gonzalez <@t> cellgenesys.com
Fri Aug 4 13:03:24 CDT 2006

Hi Jason, 
I was taught by histotechs that 10%Neutral Buffered Formalin is the gold standard vs paraformaldehyde, because it is optimally buffered to exchange with tissue fluids during the fixation process, and that unbuffered fixatives can result in artifacts which you may find microscopically in the tissue slices after stainings. How major/minor this detail turns out overall in the grand scheme of things, I don't really know. I've never seen the direct compare and contrast, for example in H&E sections comparing both fixatives. 
I have found a supplier of 10% Buffered Paraformaldehyde, from Newcomer Supply, which I use routinely for immunofluorescence of perfused, and cryoprotected samples. 
So then I would like to know, is there a technical difference between 10% NBF (formalin) vs 10% NBP (paraformaldehyde)?

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