[Histonet] question about decalicification end-point checks

Thurby, Christina christina.thurby <@t> bms.com
Mon Oct 8 10:35:48 CDT 2012

I am looking for help with decalcification end-point checks.  We use a 5% Formic acid decal (homemade - 1 L 88% Formic acid, 1 L 37% Formaldehyde and 8 L of distilled water).  We do an endpoint check using 5% ammonium oxylate.  Recently, we decaled canine femurs for a total of 13 days and endpoint check was performed on days 12 and 13.  The femurs were fixed in 10% NBF and then sectioned with a band saw prior to decalcification.  The decal endpoint tested out on both days 12 and 13.  Our problem is at microtomy, the center of the bones do not appear to be completely decaled and we can not get a good section.  We have tried surface decaling the blocks with no luck.  Any thoughts?  Is there a commercially available decal endpoint check that others have used for acid decals?

I have just finished reading Mr. Skinner & Ms. Schray's article "Decalicification of Mouse Bone/Soft Tissue Composit Specimens" from mikro-graf publishing, Volume 41, Issue 01  - this article does give some good information about paraffin embedding (which may be part of our issue on these larger bone specimens).   Perhaps we may look into the 50/50 embedding medium at a higher temp for large animal bone specimens like this in the future which seem to yield good results in Mr. Skinner's laboratory.

Robert or Carrie - if one of you are available could you give me a call or e-mail to discuss?  Thanks so much!!  Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

Kristie Thurby
Bristol Myers Squibb

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