Fixation of Cells and Tissue

Fixation is an important step to process cells and tissue for analysis. Fixation aims to stop all life processes and preserve cells and tissues as close as it was at the time of fixation. However, there is no ideal fixation method that can preserve the cells without causing artifacts.

The following analytical methods require the fixation of cells and tissues:

  • Immunocytochemistry (ICC)
  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
  • Flow cytometry
  • In situ hybridization
  • Electron microscopy

The following fixation reagents are in common use:

  • Methanol
  • Formalin
  • Paraformaldehyde
  • Bouin’s Fixative
  • Karnovsky’s Fixative
  • Osmium tetroxide fixative
  • Acrolein

Depending on the downstream application, a specific fixation is chosen.

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