Comparison of Haptic and Biometric Properties, Bacterial Load, and Student Perception of Fixative Solutions: Formaldehyde Versus Chilean Conservative Fixative Solution with and without Formaldehyde in Pig Kidneys

Marianne Skopnik-Chicago, Katherine Poblete-Cordero, Natali Zamora, ROBERTO ANDRES BASTIAS ROMO, PABLO JOSE LIZANA ARCE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

One of the most widely used solutions to fix and preserve organic tissues is formaldehyde, despite reservations regarding its toxicity and the fact that formaldehyde-embalmed bodies lose their original characteristics. Anatomy laboratories have been replacing formaldehyde with solutions that retain the characteristics of fresh tissue. For this purpose, alternative solutions with a very low concentration of formaldehyde or without any formaldehyde have been analyzed. The objective of this study was to compare biometry, coloration, haptic properties, and bacterial load on animal specimens (pig kidneys) embalmed with formaldehyde, and with Chilean Conservative Fixative Solution with and without formaldehyde (formaldehyde chCFS and formaldehyde-free chCFS). Also, the perception of health and biological science students toward specimens treated with different solutions was assessed. The results indicated that there were no significant differences in specimens’ retraction, or bacterial load. Students showed a preference for organs embalmed in formaldehyde chCFS and formaldehyde-free chCFS; indicating that with these treatments they could better visualize structures and that the prosections had greater flexibility and the colors were more similar to those of fresh tissue. Additionally, students recommended the material embalmed in formaldehyde chCFS and formaldehyde-free chCFS for anatomy learning. In contrast, students indicated that formaldehyde-fixation negatively affected their practical experience. In conclusion, embalming with formaldehyde chCFS or formaldehyde-free chCFS provides an advantageous practical experience over the use of formaldehyde and may be an alternative to replace the use of formaldehyde in anatomy laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • animal tissue
  • Embalming procedures
  • Fixation methods
  • Formaldehyde
  • Formaldehyde reduction
  • Gross anatomy education
  • microbiological study
  • Undergraduate education

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