Concept

Fixation (histology)

Summary
In the fields of histology, pathology, and cell biology, fixation is the preservation of biological tissues from decay due to autolysis or putrefaction. It terminates any ongoing biochemical reactions and may also increase the treated tissues' mechanical strength or stability. Tissue fixation is a critical step in the preparation of histological sections, its broad objective being to preserve cells and tissue components and to do this in such a way as to allow for the preparation of thin, stained sections. This allows the investigation of the tissues' structure, which is determined by the shapes and sizes of such macromolecules (in and around cells) as proteins and nucleic acids. Purposes In performing their protective role, fixatives denature proteins by coagulation, by forming additive compounds, or by a combination of coagulation and additive processes. A compound that adds chemically to macromolecules stabilizes structure most effectively if it is able to combine wit
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