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Specimen Preservation Procedure

Written by Russell McAndrews

  1. Fix specimen by submerging in a 10% buffered formalin* solution for 48  hours.
  2. Transfer to distilled water for 24 hours.
  3. Dehydrate specimen through an ethanol series, (10%, 30%, 60%, 70%) for a  period of 24 hours in each solution.
  4. Store in a 70% ethanol.

Suggested recipe for buffered formalin:

  • formaldehyde solution 100mL
  • Sodium acid phosphate (NaH2PO4-H2O) 4.0g
  • Anhydrous disodium phosphate (Na2HPO4) 6.5g

Check pH, adjust to 7.0 with NaOH or H3PO4 if necessary.  Dilute to final volume of 1.0 L.

NOTE: Formalin is combustible, an irritant and may cause cancer. Use glove and adequate ventilation. Store in flame proof cabinet.