TSU develops a safe analog of formalin for physicians

TSU chemists along with the Engineering Chemical Technological Center (ECTC)  and the Siberian State Medical University are developing a reagent for fixing pieces of human organs and tissues during biopsy. The new reagent-fixer should be a safer analog of formalin for physicians. Its development will be financed by the Foundation for the Promotion of the Development of Small-Scale Enterprises in the Scientific and Technical Area, and the product will enter the market in 3 years.

The chemists are working on reagents for fixing the biomaterial. They place samples in a liquid fixator and then perform histological diagnostics in medical organizations or studies in forensic bureaus. The fixer is needed in order to preserve the biomaterial for analysis unchanged, that is, in order not to curl the protein and destroy the DNA.

Currently doctors use formalin for this purpose. The new drug will not contain formaldehyde and will not have a smell.

- Formaldehyde, which is currently used for fixation, is a volatile and toxic substance hazard class 2. It causes irritation of the respiratory tract and organs of vision when inhaled, and there are negative long-term effects, - explains Dmitry Novikov, head of the TSU Laboratory of Physico-Chemical Methods of Analysis.

His team will examine samples of fixatives, their stability and physicochemical properties, and prepare technical documentation for products.

The global task of the project team is to develop a nonformaldehyde, nonvolatile fixing fluid. It should belong to the 4th substance hazard category, that is, be nontoxic for those who work in forensic medicine and medical organizations.