[Histonet] cell block fixation

Feher, Stephen sfeher <@t> CMC-NH.ORG
Mon Feb 14 09:31:26 CST 2011

Try a 50/50 mix of formalin and 95% alcohol.  Have your prep techs add
about 5 mL of this mixture and a drop of albumin (we use the bovine
albumin from the blood bank but any albumin will do) to the cell block
contents.  Mix well and centrifuge.  The button should be well formed.
Take care not to add too much albumin or the tissue will be brittle and
difficult to cut. 


-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Hutton,
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 2:00 PM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] cell block fixation

We recently switched vendors for our formalin and while we have not
experienced any difference with our surgical specimens, our cell blocks
from body fluids have been giving us a great deal of trouble.  The
button that we get never seems to harden, leaving it sort of gelatinous,
even if left to sit in formalin for days.  We are able to get sections
off of these cell blocks, however, the slides are blank by the end of
the staining process.  This is only a recent development that seems to
coincide with the time we switched formalin vendors and it only happens
with body fluid specimens (FNA specimens don't seem to give us as much
trouble).  The composition of the formalin is almost identical between
Can anyone help me explain why this might be happening?
Thank you in advance,
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