Comparing two methods of plastination and glycerin preservation to study skeletal system after Alizarin red-Alcian blue double staining


Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Plastination is a new method of preserving tissue samples for a long time. This study aimed to compare the new plastination technique with the conventional preservative method in glycerin for fetus skeleton tissues and young rats dyed by Alizarin red- Alcian blue double staining.
Materials and Methods: In this study, 4 groups of 1-day, 3-day, 12-day and mature rats were selected and, after being anesthetized and slaughtered, their skin was completely removed. In Alizarin red- Alcian blue double staining method, first the samples were fixed in 95% ethanol and then their cartilages were dyed by 0.225% Alcian blue solution; after that, they were cleared in 1% KOH. Then, the bones were dyed in 0.003% Alizarin red solution and finally the tissue was decolorized in 95% ethanol. In each group, half of the samples were preserved by the conventional method in a glycerin container and the other half were plastinated.
Results: In the present study, the samples preserved by plastination technique were dry, odorless, indecomposable and tangible. Quality of coloring had an inverse relationship with rats' age. Transparency of the plastinated samples had also an inverse relationship with rats' age. Therefore, skeletal tissue of younger rats had higher quality and transparency in both preservation methods (glycerin and plastination).
Conclusion: This study showed that plastination technique was an appropriate method in comparison with glycerin preservation, which conserved skeletal tissue of fetus and young rats colored by Alizarin red- Alcian blue double staining. And the final result was that plastination technique can generate dry, odorless, indecomposable and tangible samples.


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