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Background. New guidelines for occupational safety concerning the embalming procedure are being enforced by the authorities worldwide. Therefore, anatomical teaching faces a compelling urge to invent and evaluate non-hazardous fixation methods to keep up the high quality of medical training. Aminolipin is a substance that just recently has been proposed as a fixative. Aim. Here we describe its mode of action and usability. Material and Methods. We used mass-spectrometry, gas-chromatography, and 1H-NMRspectrometry to analyse the chemical properties of aminolipin. We characterized its fixative activity by circular-dichroism-spectroscopy, 1H-15N-NMR-spectrometry, and FRET-based endopeptidase assays. Moreover, we evaluated the histology and gross tissue retention of aminolipin-embalmed human cadavers and quantified haptics and joint-mobility. Biological and occupational safety was evaluated by microbiological assays and ambient air analysis by HPLC. Results and Discussion. We found that aminolipin exerts a potent denaturating effect on proteins, thereby unfolding tertiary and secondary structure and arresting enzymatic activity. Further, we present strong histological and gross-anatomical evidence that aminolipin is a useful fixative for the embalming of human cadavers. Due to the in vivo-like haptics and joint-flexibility, aminolipin fixed specimen can be used for students’ education as well as for surgical training. We were not able to detect any volatile hydrocarbons as derivatives of aminolipin by HPLC evaporating from the fixed specimens. Aminolipin has a potent anti-microbial effect covering a wide spectrum of anaerob-aerob, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and, in contrast to formalin, even acts anti-mycotic. Conclusions. Aminolipin is an alternative useful for the preservation of human cadavers, that has favorable properties in terms of biological and occupational safety.

About the authors

Bernhard Hirt

University of Tübingen

Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis Tübingen, Germany


Copyright (c) 2018 Hirt B.

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