[Histonet] Nitrocellulose or other vertebrate cranial-mount medium?

Gidmark, Nicholas Nicholas_Gidmark <@t> brown.edu
Mon Nov 13 13:54:48 CST 2006

Hello all,
I just started my doctoral degree at Brown University.  At my last institution (U of MN), I used Low Viscosity Nitrocellulose (LVN) to embed whole (though small) fish heads.  The biggest heads that I embedded were 4 cm X 3 cm X 2 cm.  
I am wondering if anyone knows of a good method to get a hold of nitrocellulose itself.   We got our last shipment at the U of MN from G.J. Nikolas about three years ago, but they will no longer supply it for biological purposes.  
Because we've already bought EVERYTHING else here at Brown for the procedure, I'd rather not switch to a different embedding medium.  But, if there's no other way to get nitrocellulose, I'm open to other methods of making whole mounts of vertebrate specimens of that size.
Does anyone know other good methods of embedding vertebrate heads of that size, or how to get a hold of some nitrocellulose?
As a side note, I've looked into the material that fisher sells, but the concentration that they have is, as I recall, about 5%.  We were using final concentrations of close to 30% (100 grams dissolved in about 300 ml of ethanol/ether mix) , which would make that solution difficult to use, not to mention prohibitively expensive on that scale.
Any ideas?
Thanks for your help.
Nicholas J. Gidmark, graduate student
Brainerd lab of biomechanics and functional morphology
Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Brown University
80 Waterman Street, box G-W
Providence, RI 02912
nicholas_gidmark <@t> brown.edu
Cell: 612.386.0042
Lab: 401.863.1032

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