An optimal fixative should ideally combine the advantages of formalin fixation and freezing, allowing for good preservation of histology and molecular components, easy handling and storage, lack of toxicity, and low costs. Most of these criteria are fulfilled by ethanol-based solutions, and due to our good experience with the commercial RCL2 fixative, reflected by our published single- center trial, we initiated a multicenter ring trial. However, during its course, RCL2 was discontinued on the market. Therefore, we created our own agent, KINFix, composed of the same main constituents as RCL2, and employed it in our laboratory with similar results. Here we present our evaluation of the three fixatives formalin, RCL2, and KINFix from the perspective of histopathology as well as nucleic acid and protein analyses in comparison to fresh frozen tissues together with the multicenter ring trial data for RCL2. We observe that RCL2 and KINFix offer comparable histomorphology and superior template for molecular analyses than formalin. Moreover, KINFix as freely available fixative might overcome some of the difficulties related to the commercial agents. Therefore, we conclude that KINFix might be an attractive complement to formalin in tissue processing and advocate its use in neuropathological practice.

Ethanol-based fixative, Formalin substitute, KINFix, Nucleic acid preservation, Proteomics, RCL2,
Clinical Neuropathology
Department of Pathology

Stefanits, H, Bienkowski, M, Galanski, M, Mitulovic, G, Ströbel, T, Gelpi, E, … Hainfellner, J.A. (2016). KINFix-A formalin-free non-commercial fixative optimized for histological, immunohistochemical and molecular analyses of neurosurgical tissue specimens. Clinical Neuropathology, 35(1), 3–12. doi:10.5414/NP300907