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A pilot study on ethanol-polyethylene glycol-formalin fixation of farm animal cadavers

Janczyk, P., Weigner, J., Luebke-Becker, A., Richardson, K.C. and Plendl, J. (2011) A pilot study on ethanol-polyethylene glycol-formalin fixation of farm animal cadavers. Berliner und Münchener Tierärztliche Wochenschrift, 124 (5-6). pp. 225-227.


Most embalming of cadavers for anatomical dissection in veterinary medicine has used 6-10% formaldehyde resulting in discoloured and rigid specimens. This project produced teaching specimens of sheep, horse and calf cadavers having their musculoskeletal and visceral structures with a natural appearance using a fixation solution with lowered concentrations of formaldehyde (2% and 3%) together with ethanol arid polyethylene glycols. Fixation parameters (palpable consistency, flexibility, colour, tissue hydration and odour) were assessed qualitatively by twice weekly dissections over two months for sheep and three months for horses and calf. Formaldehyde levels, measured in the breathing zone, were below the maximum allowable concentration in all specimens except for a 300 kg horse cadaver. To evaluate the effectiveness of the fixation solution in microbial inhibition, tissue samples were taken and analyzed for the presence of culturable aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, yeasts and moulds. Single colonies of Pseudomonas oryzihabitans, Chryseobacterium sp., Acinetobacter sp. were isolated from lungs, and Micrococcus sp. and Bacillus sp. were isolated from one muscle sample.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Schlütersche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
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