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Fixative Ingredients

Characteristics of various fixative ingredients

QuestionAnswer
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Reaction with Proteins) Coagulant,Nonadditive
Acetic Acid (Reaction with Proteins) nil but Baker classifies it as noncoagulant of nucleoproteins
Formaldehyde,Paraformaldehyde (Reaction with Proteins) Noncoagulant, Additive
Glutaraldehyde (Reaction with Proteins) Noncoagulant, Additive
Mercuric Chloride (Reaction with Proteins) Coagulant, Additive
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5 (Reaction with Proteins) Coagulant, Additive, acts like chromic acid
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5 (Reaction with Proteins) Noncoagulant, Additive
Osmium Tetroxide (Reaction with Proteins) Noncoagulant, Additive
Picric Acid (Reaction with Proteins) Coagulant, Additive
Zinc Salts (Reaction with Proteins) Coagulant, Additive
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Reaction with nucleic acids) nil
Acetic Acid (Reaction with nucleic acids) Coagulant of nucleoprotein and DNA
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde (Reaction with nucleic acids) nil below 45 degrees celsius
Glutaraldehyde (Reaction with nucleic acids) nil below 45 degrees celsius
Mercuric Chloride (Reaction with nucleic acids) Coagulant
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5 (Reaction with nucleic acids) Coagulant
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5 (Reaction with nucleic acids) Dissolves DNA, precipitates(makes insoluble) nucleoprotein
Osmium Tetroxide (Reaction with nucleic acids) Noncoagulant
Picric Acid (Reaction with nucleic acids) Precipitates nucleoprotein, leaves DNA soluble and partly hydrolyzed.
Zinc Salts (Reaction with nucleic acids) Unknown
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Reaction with lipids) Some extraction
Acetic Acid (Reaction with lipids) nil
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde (Reaction with lipids) Preserves,but with gradual loss
Glutaraldehyde (Reaction with lipids) Preserves, but with gradual loss
Mercuric Chloride (Reaction with lipids) "unmasks" some lipids
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5 (Reaction with lipids) Oxidizes unsaturated fatty acids
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5 (Reaction with lipids) Attaches to some, makes the insoluble
Osmium Tetroxide (Reaction with lipids) Reacts with and adds to double bond in lipids, makes them insoluble
Picric Acid (Reaction with lipids) nil
Zinc Salts (Reaction with lipids) Unknown
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Reaction with Carbohydrates) nil, glycogen is insoluble
Acetic Acid (Reaction with Carbohydrates) nil
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde (Reaction with Carbohydrates) nil
Glutaraldehyde (Reaction with Carbohydrates) nil
Mercuric Chloride (Reaction with Carbohydrates) nil
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5 (Reaction with Carbohydrates) Oxidizes to aldehydes
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5 (Reaction with Carbohydrates) nil
Osmium Tetroxide (Reaction with Carbohydrates) Uncertain
Picric Acid (Reaction with Carbohydrates) nil
Zinc Salts (Reaction with Carbohydrates) nil
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Rate of Penetration) Rapid
Acetic Acid (Rate of Penetration) Rapid
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde (Rate of Penetration) Rapid, but slow cross-linking
Glutaraldehyde (Rate of Penetration) Slow, but cross-links rapidly
Mercuric Chloride (Rate of Penetration) Moderate
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5 (Rate of Penetration) Slow
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5 (Rate of Penetration) Fairly rapid
Osmium Tetroxide (Rate of Penetration) Very slow
Picric Acid (Rate of Penetration) Very slow
Zinc Salts (Rate of Penetration) Slow
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Enzyme Activity) Preserves some if cold
Acetic Acid (Enzyme Activity) Unknown
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde (Enzyme Activity) Preserves some if cold and brief
Glutaraldehyde (Enzyme Activity) More inhibition than formaldehyde
Mercuric Chloride (Enzyme Activity) Inhibits
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5 (Enzyme Activity) Inhibits
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5 (Enzyme Activity) Inhibits
Osmium Tetroxide (Enzyme Activity) Inhibits
Picric Acid (Enzyme Activity) Inhibits
Zinc Salts (Enzyme Activity) Inhibits
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Ultrastructural preservation) Poor
Acetic Acid (Ultrastructural preservation) Poor
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde (Ultrastructural preservation) Good with Millonig's or paraformaldehyde, usually postfixed with osmium
Glutaraldehyde (Ultrastructural preservation) Excellent, usually postfixed with osmium
Mercuric Chloride (Ultrastructural preservation) Organelles preserved
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5(Ultrastructural preservation) Poor, causes considerable distortion
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5(Ultrastructural preservation) Poor, causes some distortion
Osmium Tetroxide (Ultrastructural preservation) Excellent
Picric Acid (Ultrastructural preservation) Poor, causes distortion
Zinc Salts (Ultrastructural preservation) Poor
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Special Uses) Used when urates are to be demonstrated, also good for glycogen, cytology fixative
Acetic Acid (Special Uses) Used in mixtures for fixation and preservation of nucleoprotein
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde (Special Uses) Electron micorscopy (Millonig's and paraformaldehyde), some enzyme histochemistry
Glutaraldehyde (Special Uses) Electron microscopy
Mercuric Chloride (Special Uses)
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5(Special Uses)
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5(Special Uses) Preserves chromaffin granules (used in Orth solution for fixation of pheochromocytomas)
Osmium Tetroxide (Special Uses) Primary use in electron microscopy, or for fat demonstration in paraffin sections
Picric Acid(Special Uses) Mordant for trichrome procedures
Zinc Salts (Special Uses) Preserves immunoreactivity, gives good morphological preservation
Ethanol, Methanol, Acetone (Special Comments) Overhardens tissue, usually used alone
Acetic Acid(Special Comments) Not used alone
Formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde (Special Comments) Permits more special stains than any other fixative, frequently used alone
Glutaraldehyde (Special Comments) May give false-positive Schiff reactions, usually used alone (see pg 14)
Mercuric Chloride(Special Comments) Promotes staining, produces an artifactual pigment, not used alone
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH <3.5(Special Comments) Can produce an artifactual pigment, not used alone
Potassium Dichromate w/ pH >3.5(Special Comments) Can produce an artifactual pigment, not used alone
Osmium Tetroxide (Special Comments) Penetrates only a few cell layers in depth, usually used alone
Picric Acid (Special Comments) Should not be used with Feulgen reaction, not used alone (see pg 16)
Zinc Salts (Special Comments) Can precipitate in the processor
Alcohols (C vs N) Coagulant
Alcohols (A vs N) Nonadditive
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehye (C vs N) Noncoagulant
Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehye (A vs N) Additive
Created by: kmajor316 on 2012-08-06



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