[Histonet] Histology

Kemlo Rogerson Kemlo.Rogerson <@t> waht.swest.nhs.uk
Tue Apr 7 02:10:25 CDT 2009

I think one of the things that I've learnt by leaving the world of
Histology and dabbling (not too well) in the other disciplines is that
there is no such thing as exacts. The maximum and minimum times for
fixation for tissue depends on the tissue, the species, the temperature,
the manufacturer of the fixative and, ah yes... The time of fixation. I
think you need to do what the chemists do and control the reaction;
fixatives alter proteins and the rate of reaction is dependent that
which I've already said. Why concentrate on one variable? Surely the
time taken to fix is just one of the variables and you need to control
them all. As in all chemical reactions the time taken is dependent on
all the others and you need to determine how that fixative works in your
Lab, at your ambient temperature, with your manufacturer of fixative on
the species of the tissue you are fixing. Multiple blocks of the same
tissue, fixed for differing times and processed the way after being
fixed with the same fixative; you can't go wrong. If I've been helpful
then I apologise (g). 


Kemlo Rogerson	
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-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Rittman,
Barry R
Sent: 07 April 2009 00:16
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Histology

I hate to bring up histological technique for a change of pace

Could we get some consensus of opinion as to maximum, minimum and
optimal fixation times for different tissues?
This is  assuming that tissues will be fixed in buffered formalin at
room temperature and processed to wax with a standard technique in a
This would also require a standard thickness for each tissue type.
If there are students out there looking for  projects this might seem to
be suitable, as a few tissues only could be examined at one time.
I know that several papers have been published about fixation in
formalin but can't bring to mind any that deal with this aspect of the
If there are any students out there who would like a summary of fixation
in general I will be happy to email it to them.
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