[Histonet] Honey as a fixative?

Marshall Terry Dr, Consultant Histopathologist Terry.Marshall <@t> rothgen.nhs.uk
Mon Sep 25 09:13:43 CDT 2006

Ah, the voice of reason.

Dr Terry L Marshall, B.A.(Law), M.B.,Ch.B.,F.R.C.Path
 Consultant Pathologist
 Rotherham General Hospital
 South Yorkshire
        terry.marshall <@t> rothgen.nhs.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Philip Oshel [mailto:oshel1pe <@t> cmich.edu]
Sent: 25 September 2006 13:26
To: Histonet <@t> Pathology.swmed.edu
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Honey as a fixative?

I would be very surprised if there is anything in honey that acts as 
a fixative. Remember that honey is evolved to be food for growing bee 
larvae, not exactly something compatible with fixation.
I do find it easy to believe that honey acts as a preservative, 
simply because its high sugar content makes honey a strong 
dehydrating agent. This will perserve tissue and prevent bacterial 
and fungal growth. It would be interesting to do a similar study on 
salt-preserved tissues. I suspect the results would be similar, 
although the morphology would be uglier in the salt-preseved tissue 
because salt's strong osmotic effects.


>Dear all
>   I saw an article in the Journal of Histotechnology on honey as a 
>fixative and was impressed by the innovative spirit of the authors.
>   It would be helpful to the whole histo community if more studies 
>are done on honey as a fixative.
>   The main question should be if the results are reproducible by 
>other investigators using honey from different areas. It would be 
>also interesting to know the component of honey that is responsible 
>for the fixation.
>   James Mubiru

Philip Oshel
Microscopy Facility Supervisor
Biology Department
Central Michigan University
024C Brooks Hall
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
voice: (989) 774-3576
dept. fax: (989) 774-3462

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