Gendre's Fixative Solution

Gendre's Fixative Solution

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Older texts and articles refer to Gendre’s fixative solution as alcoholic Bouin’s solution, and in many ways the two are similar.  The main difference is that most of the water that would otherwise form a large part of Bouin’s solution is replaced, in the case of Gendre’s solution, by 95% ethanol in water.  This substitution increases the drying effect on submerged specimens.  The 6.23% picric acid (Trinitrophenol) in Gendre’s solution is toxic, including toxicity by absorption through the skin, and all appropriate safety measures should be used, such as gloved hands.  The picric acid turns specimens yellow, but this can be removed by washing specimens in water prior to staining.  The fixation time is 4-18 hours, depending on the specimen.  Hempstead Halide sells smaller-sized quantities of Gendre’s solution in wide-mouth bottles to allow for fixation directly in the bottles without decanting.  We recommend it for preserving carbohydrates.  Refer to the relevant safety data sheet(s).

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