Perfusion fixation of large arteries - (Jul/28/2014 )
My study involves implantation of a vascular graft in sheep carotid arteries. After explantation, we will be doing histology, IHC and SEM to assess cellular infiltration and endothelial formation of the graft.
I'm planning the explantation of these grafts and I see from other similar studies that perfusion fixation is often used. My understanding of perfusion fixation is that it helps fix the deeper layers of thick tissues (e.g. brain, kidney) quicker than simple immersion.
Perfusion fixation in my study would be laborious and costly (due to the size of the sheep) so my question is: is there a real benefit for perfusion fixation of a large blood vessel such as the carotid artery?
In your case I would say no - as you are just wanting to do some IHC, it should be simple enough to euthanize the animal and then dissect out the region you want and immerse in fixative. It shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour or so per animal and the specimen should be OK for that period of time. Artery is relatively thin so fixation should be fairly fast.
Having said that, I haven't actually done this sort of thing for anything larger than a mouse, so I don't know for sure.