Fixatives for Electron Microscopes

Fixation is a process in which tissue sections collected from dead or living organisms are preserved as close as possible to their original state when they were alive, to prepare microscopic specimens for biological or pathological observation. The purposes are as follows:

  • To stabilize proteins, the major components of tissue sections, as quickly as possible in order to arrest autolysis
  • To minimize the alteration and deformation of tissue sections caused by chemicals, heat, etc. in the subsequent specimen preparation process

While many fixation methods are currently available, it is necessary to select the most appropriate method depending on the microscope used and the target structure or substance.

Fixative solutions for electron microscopes

Fixative solution Concentration used Feature Defect Target tissue
Osmic acid 1~2 % -Washing with water and dehydration are completed quickly.
-Only slight deformation occurs during fixation.
-Embedding agents penetrate easily, and various resins can be used.
-Phospholipids are effectively fixed.
-Fixative solutions penetrate poorly.
-50% of proteins and saturated fatty acids are lost.
-Intracellular ultrastructure
-Unsaturated fatty acids
-DNA particles
Potassium permanganate 0.6~3 % Fixative solutions and embedding agents penetrate moderately well. Major deformation occurs during fixation.
Mucopolysaccharides, proteins, and saturated fatty acids/phospholipids are partially lost.
No ribosomes are fixed.
-Intracellular membrane structure
-Glycogen granules
-Plant tissues
Glutaraldehyde 1.5~4 % Intracellular structures and glycogen granules exhibit negative staining, and nuclei and intracellular matrix exhibit positive staining. Washing with water and dehydration takes time.
Embedding agents (other than methacrylic resins) penetrate poorly.
Lipids are not sufficiently fixed.
Low-concentration proteins are not fixed.
Tannic acid-aldehyde fixation 1 %, 2 % Soluble proteins (functional proteins such as hormones and enzymes) and polypeptides are effectively fixed by mixing with aldehyde fixative solutions. - -Soluble proteins
Neutral buffered formalin 4 % Soluble proteins (functional proteins such as hormones and enzymes) and polypeptides are effectively fixed. - -Soluble proteins
Paraformaldehyde 4 % Glycoproteins are fixed, antigenicity is retained, and tissue penetration is rapid. Fixation is weak. Protein antigens
Periodate-lysine-paraformaldehyde (PLP) 2% Glycoproteins and sugars are effectively fixed.
Antigenicity is retained.
- Glycoprotein antigens

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Fixative Solutions for Electron Microscopes

Fixative Solutions for Electron Microscopes (Ampule type)

For research use or further manufacturing use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Product content may differ from the actual image due to minor specification changes etc.

If the revision of product standards and packaging standards has been made, there is a case where the actual product specifications and images are different.


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