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From Embryology


Bouin’s Fixative (Bouin’s Fluid, Bouin solution)

Bouin’s fixative is the primary mordant solution, substance used to set a dye, in the trichrome stains. It is a compound fixative composed of picric acid, acetic acid and formaldehyde in an aqueous solution. Picric acid acts to balance the fixation effects of the other 2 agents.

  • Acetic acid tissue swelling effect is balanced by the tissue shrinking effect of picric acid.
  • Formalin causes cytoplasm to become basophilic effect is balanced by the picric acid. Good for nuclear and cytoplasmic (Stain - Haematoxylin Eosin) staining.
  • Formalin causes tissue hardening effect is balanced by the soft tissue fixation of picric acid.
  • Picric acid when retained interferes with some stains, including those used for blood cells.

Whole specimen fixation

  • small specimens for at least 6 hours.
  • other specimens can be fixed up to two days.
  • large specimens can be fixed for up to three days.

Do not use Bouin’s to fix before in situ hybridisation, as then unable to detect RNA.

See Polyscience - http://www.polysciences.com/skin/frontend/default/polysciences/pdf/866.pdf