Leaching of trace elements from biological tissue by formalin fixation

Kristin Gellein, Trond Peder Flaten, Keith M. Erikson, Michael Aschner, Tore Syversen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In studies of trace elements in biological tissue, it is imperative that sample handling does not substantially change element concentrations. In many cases, fresh tissue is not available for study, but formalin-fixed tissue is. Formalin fixation has the potential to leach elements from the tissue, but few studies have been published in this area. The concentrations of 19 elements were determined by high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in formalin in which human and rat brain samples had been stored for different time durations ranging from weeks up to several years. Additional analysis was carried out in fixed brain samples. There was substantial leaching of elements from the tissue into the formalin, and the leaching varied considerably between different elements. For example, formalin concentrations of As, Cd, Mg, Rb, and Sb increased more than 100-fold upon long-term (years) storage, while for Ni and Cr, the leaching was negligible. The degree of leaching was strongly time-dependent. In conclusion, formalin fixation and storage of biological tissue has the potential to leach substantial fractions of several trace elements from the tissue. The potential of leaching must be critically considered when using formalin-fixed biological tissue in trace metal analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Volume121
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Tissue Fixation
Trace Elements
Formaldehyde
Leaching
Tissue
Brain
Metal analysis
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
Rats
Mass Spectrometry
Metals

Keywords

  • Biological tissue preservation
  • Brain tissue
  • Formalin fixation
  • Leaching
  • Trace elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Leaching of trace elements from biological tissue by formalin fixation. / Gellein, Kristin; Flaten, Trond Peder; Erikson, Keith M.; Aschner, Michael; Syversen, Tore.

In: Biological Trace Element Research, Vol. 121, No. 3, 03.2008, p. 221-225.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gellein, Kristin ; Flaten, Trond Peder ; Erikson, Keith M. ; Aschner, Michael ; Syversen, Tore. / Leaching of trace elements from biological tissue by formalin fixation. In: Biological Trace Element Research. 2008 ; Vol. 121, No. 3. pp. 221-225.
@article{c63edbeeab3245429ad66ffc565bd182,
title = "Leaching of trace elements from biological tissue by formalin fixation",
abstract = "In studies of trace elements in biological tissue, it is imperative that sample handling does not substantially change element concentrations. In many cases, fresh tissue is not available for study, but formalin-fixed tissue is. Formalin fixation has the potential to leach elements from the tissue, but few studies have been published in this area. The concentrations of 19 elements were determined by high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in formalin in which human and rat brain samples had been stored for different time durations ranging from weeks up to several years. Additional analysis was carried out in fixed brain samples. There was substantial leaching of elements from the tissue into the formalin, and the leaching varied considerably between different elements. For example, formalin concentrations of As, Cd, Mg, Rb, and Sb increased more than 100-fold upon long-term (years) storage, while for Ni and Cr, the leaching was negligible. The degree of leaching was strongly time-dependent. In conclusion, formalin fixation and storage of biological tissue has the potential to leach substantial fractions of several trace elements from the tissue. The potential of leaching must be critically considered when using formalin-fixed biological tissue in trace metal analysis.",
keywords = "Biological tissue preservation, Brain tissue, Formalin fixation, Leaching, Trace elements",
author = "Kristin Gellein and Flaten, {Trond Peder} and Erikson, {Keith M.} and Michael Aschner and Tore Syversen",
year = "2008",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1007/s12011-007-8051-1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "121",
pages = "221--225",
journal = "Biological Trace Element Research",
issn = "0163-4984",
publisher = "Humana Press",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Leaching of trace elements from biological tissue by formalin fixation

AU - Gellein, Kristin

AU - Flaten, Trond Peder

AU - Erikson, Keith M.

AU - Aschner, Michael

AU - Syversen, Tore

PY - 2008/3

Y1 - 2008/3

N2 - In studies of trace elements in biological tissue, it is imperative that sample handling does not substantially change element concentrations. In many cases, fresh tissue is not available for study, but formalin-fixed tissue is. Formalin fixation has the potential to leach elements from the tissue, but few studies have been published in this area. The concentrations of 19 elements were determined by high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in formalin in which human and rat brain samples had been stored for different time durations ranging from weeks up to several years. Additional analysis was carried out in fixed brain samples. There was substantial leaching of elements from the tissue into the formalin, and the leaching varied considerably between different elements. For example, formalin concentrations of As, Cd, Mg, Rb, and Sb increased more than 100-fold upon long-term (years) storage, while for Ni and Cr, the leaching was negligible. The degree of leaching was strongly time-dependent. In conclusion, formalin fixation and storage of biological tissue has the potential to leach substantial fractions of several trace elements from the tissue. The potential of leaching must be critically considered when using formalin-fixed biological tissue in trace metal analysis.

AB - In studies of trace elements in biological tissue, it is imperative that sample handling does not substantially change element concentrations. In many cases, fresh tissue is not available for study, but formalin-fixed tissue is. Formalin fixation has the potential to leach elements from the tissue, but few studies have been published in this area. The concentrations of 19 elements were determined by high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in formalin in which human and rat brain samples had been stored for different time durations ranging from weeks up to several years. Additional analysis was carried out in fixed brain samples. There was substantial leaching of elements from the tissue into the formalin, and the leaching varied considerably between different elements. For example, formalin concentrations of As, Cd, Mg, Rb, and Sb increased more than 100-fold upon long-term (years) storage, while for Ni and Cr, the leaching was negligible. The degree of leaching was strongly time-dependent. In conclusion, formalin fixation and storage of biological tissue has the potential to leach substantial fractions of several trace elements from the tissue. The potential of leaching must be critically considered when using formalin-fixed biological tissue in trace metal analysis.

KW - Biological tissue preservation

KW - Brain tissue

KW - Formalin fixation

KW - Leaching

KW - Trace elements

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=44949238866&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=44949238866&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s12011-007-8051-1

DO - 10.1007/s12011-007-8051-1

M3 - Article

C2 - 17952381

AN - SCOPUS:44949238866

VL - 121

SP - 221

EP - 225

JO - Biological Trace Element Research

JF - Biological Trace Element Research

SN - 0163-4984

IS - 3

ER -