Glutaraldehyde (1,5-pentanedial) is a common fixative in biology. It is used to reduce degradation in cells, tissues, and entire organisms before further experiments like electron microscopy.
- Glutaraldehyde is a potent fixative, and should only be used in a chemical fume hood. Do not dispose of excess fixative or glutaraldehyde solution in the sink.
- Glutaraldehyde causes more autofluorescence than PFA. See Griffin IHC notes.
- Glutaraldehyde is used to fix specimen before electron microscopy where it is employed alone or mixed with polymethanal (paraformaldehyde) as the first of 2 fixations followed by osmium tetroxide.
- Glutaraldehyde is used as an amine cross-linker.
- Glutaraldehyde is used in SDS-PAGE to fix/crosslink proteins and peptides prior to staining. Gels are treated with a 5% solution for ~30 min, after which it must be thoroughly washed to remove the yellow stain brought about by reacting with free Tris. Alternatively, gels can be washed before fixation.
- EM protocol by the Bitan lab using glutaraldehyde as fixative
- Mixed 2% PFA, 0.2% GA for X-gal stainings
- Recipes for a mixed fixative containing 0.1% glutaraldehyde from the O'Neill lab
- Glutaraldehyde as disinfectant