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Formaldehyde vs. Alcohol Fixation for Immunofluorescence (IF)


What's the difference between crosslinking aldehyde fixatives and alcohol based fixatives for immunofluorescence?

Fixation is an important step in the immunofluorescence protocol. Click here to view CST protocols.

Ideally, fixation would not alter the ability of antibodies to detect proteins, but unfortunately fixatives do have an impact on the epitopes, and can also affect the fluorescent properties of the sample itself. Because of this, it's important for you as an antibody user, to understand the different types of fixation approaches. In this Tech Tip, John breaks down the pros and cons of two main classes of fixatives: alcohol-based fixatives like methanol, and crosslinking fixatives like formaldehyde.