All authors seem to agree that the brain must be hardened by some method in order to be fit for dissection, as far as its fibers are concerned. Some have boiled the brain in oil (Spurzheim, 1834), and others have used chromic acid solution for the same purpose (Hyrtl, 1857). Some years ago zinc chloride was in general use for that purpose and of late nearly everyone uses formaldehyde, 40 per cent diluted. I have employed formaldehyde in a 2 per cent solution, changed every day until the fifth day, when I put the brain in a 5 per cent solution, to which has been added a small quantity of pure glycerin, in which the specimen will keep indefinitely. I find that the formaldehyde bleaches the white matter and makes a better contrast between gray and white, and that the glycerin, if it is pure, prevents the brains from becoming brittle and it also seems to give the fibers a greater elasticity. The longer such brains are kept in this solution the better they are for dissection.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1908 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Hoeve, H. J. H.
"Revival of an Old Method of Brain Dissection,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 15(1), 183-187.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol15/iss1/30