Daufresne's solution, also known as Daufresne's fixative, is a chemical solution widely used in histology and microscopy for preserving and fixing biological specimens for future examination. It is named after its developer, Alphonse Daufresne, a French chemist and histologist.
Daufresne's solution is primarily composed of a mixture of formaldehyde and ethyl alcohol. Formaldehyde acts as a fixing agent, cross-linking proteins and nucleic acids, effectively arresting cellular and tissue degradation by stabilizing their structures. Ethyl alcohol serves as a solvent, aiding in the preservation and dehydration of tissues.
When a biological sample, such as a tissue biopsy or organ, is immersed in Daufresne's solution, it quickly penetrates the tissues, preserving their cellular architecture and preventing autolysis, putrefaction, and decomposition. This fixation process immobilizes and hardens the tissues, making them suitable for subsequent processing steps such as sectioning and staining.
Daufresne's solution finds widespread application in various fields, including medicine, research, and education. It is commonly used to establish permanent microscopic slides for pathological diagnosis, anatomical studies, and scientific investigations. By preserving the structural integrity of tissues, Daufresne's solution allows for detailed observation, analysis, and examination of cellular components, histological features, and pathological abnormalities.
In summary, Daufresne's solution is a chemical fixative containing formaldehyde and ethyl alcohol utilized for preserving and fixing biological specimens, preventing tissue degradation, and enabling the microscopic examination of cellular structures.