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Vol 83, No 1 (2024): Folia Morphologica
Original article
Submitted: 2022-12-13
Accepted: 2023-02-01
Published online: 2023-02-16
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Morphological changes in striated muscle fibres caused by components of the Thiel embalming method

Dea Aaldijk1, Adrian Reusser1, Elisabeth Eppler1, Eveline Yao1, Valentin Djonov1, Sebastian Halm1
·
Pubmed: 36811140
·
Folia Morphol 2024;83(1):83-91.
Affiliations
  1. Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Switzerland

open access

Vol 83, No 1 (2024): Folia Morphologica
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2022-12-13
Accepted: 2023-02-01
Published online: 2023-02-16

Abstract

Background: Thiel-fixed body donors are highly valued for surgical training courses. The pronounced flexibility of Thiel-fixed tissue has been postulated to be caused by histologically visible fragmentation of striated muscle. The aim of this study was to analyse whether a specific ingredient, pH, decay, or autolysis could cause this fragmentation in order to modulate the Thiel solution to adapt specimen flexibility specifically to the needs of different courses.

Materials and methods: Striated muscle of the mouse was fixed for different time periods in formalin, Thiel solution, and its individual ingredients, and analysed by light microscopy. Further, pH-values of Thiel solution and its ingredients were measured. In addition, unfixed muscle tissue was histologically analysed including Gram staining to investigate a relationship between autolysis, decomposition, and fragmentation.

Results: Muscle fixed with Thiel solution for 3 months was slightly more fragmentated than muscle fixed for 1 day. Fragmentation was more pronounced after 1 year of immersion. Three individual salt ingredients showed slight fragmentation. Decay and autolysis had no effect on fragmentation, which occurred regardless of the pH of all solutions.

Conclusions: Fragmentation of Thiel-fixed muscle is dependent on fixation time and most likely occurs due to salts present in the Thiel solution. Adjustment of the salt composition in the Thiel solution with verification of the influence on the fixation effect, fragmentation and flexibility of the cadavers could be performed in further studies.

Abstract

Background: Thiel-fixed body donors are highly valued for surgical training courses. The pronounced flexibility of Thiel-fixed tissue has been postulated to be caused by histologically visible fragmentation of striated muscle. The aim of this study was to analyse whether a specific ingredient, pH, decay, or autolysis could cause this fragmentation in order to modulate the Thiel solution to adapt specimen flexibility specifically to the needs of different courses.

Materials and methods: Striated muscle of the mouse was fixed for different time periods in formalin, Thiel solution, and its individual ingredients, and analysed by light microscopy. Further, pH-values of Thiel solution and its ingredients were measured. In addition, unfixed muscle tissue was histologically analysed including Gram staining to investigate a relationship between autolysis, decomposition, and fragmentation.

Results: Muscle fixed with Thiel solution for 3 months was slightly more fragmentated than muscle fixed for 1 day. Fragmentation was more pronounced after 1 year of immersion. Three individual salt ingredients showed slight fragmentation. Decay and autolysis had no effect on fragmentation, which occurred regardless of the pH of all solutions.

Conclusions: Fragmentation of Thiel-fixed muscle is dependent on fixation time and most likely occurs due to salts present in the Thiel solution. Adjustment of the salt composition in the Thiel solution with verification of the influence on the fixation effect, fragmentation and flexibility of the cadavers could be performed in further studies.

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Keywords

tissue fixation, skeletal muscle, light microscopy, fragmentation, saturated salt solution, formalin, boric acid, pH

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About this article
Title

Morphological changes in striated muscle fibres caused by components of the Thiel embalming method

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 83, No 1 (2024): Folia Morphologica

Article type

Original article

Pages

83-91

Published online

2023-02-16

Page views

476

Article views/downloads

425

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2023.0010

Pubmed

36811140

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2024;83(1):83-91.

Keywords

tissue fixation
skeletal muscle
light microscopy
fragmentation
saturated salt solution
formalin
boric acid
pH

Authors

Dea Aaldijk
Adrian Reusser
Elisabeth Eppler
Eveline Yao
Valentin Djonov
Sebastian Halm

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