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Improved Polymerization of Acrylic Resins

Acrylic resins (Lowicryl, LR White, LR Gold, JB4) have become common embedding media for immunocytochemistry. A common problem in handling and disposing of these media is that oxygen inhibits their polymerization. Bubbling dry nitrogen gas through the resin mixture before infiltrating and embedding drives off oxygen and ensures consistent polymerization. Specimens embedded in gelatin capsules can be placed in a small chamber or vacuum oven which can be purged with nitrogen to ensure complete polymerization of blocks and avoid the tacky block surface and noxious, volatile vapors from incompletely cured blocks.

Reference: E. Ann Ellis, Ellis EM Consulting Service, 1316 SW 61st Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32607.