Kaiserling’s Preservative

There are four preservative formula under Kaiserling's name. Two of these (Kaiserling I and II) are used sequentially for the preparation of medical museum displays. The other two are general preservative solutions, although all four may be used for that purpose.

It is not an uncommon practice to substitute 10% formalin for Kaiserling I as it does much the same job, although tissue must be left in it for fixation to be complete – a few months at least. One effect of using either 10% formalin or Kaiserling I is that the natural colour is lost during fixation. This may be restored in two ways:

  1. Soak the fixed tissue in 80% ethanol until the colour returns, then immerse in Kaiserling II in a sealed jar.
  2. Immerse in Kaiserling II in a sealed jar after adding a small amount of potassium hydrosulphite. The colour slowly returns over a few days.

For those interested in this procedure please consult a text on medical museum technology. It is outside the scope of StainsFile

Kaiserling I Kaiserling II
Water 1 L   Water 1 L
Strong formalin 200 mL Potassium acetate 100 g
Potassium nitrate 15 g Glycerol 200 mL
Potassium acetate 30 g

Kaiserling 1896 Kaiserling 1899
Water 570 mL   Water 840 mL
Strong formalin 430 mL Strong formalin 160 mL
Potassium nitrate 5 g Potassium nitrate 9 g
Potassium acetate 17 g Potassium acetate 18 g


Gray, Peter. (1954)
The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide.
Originally published by:– The Blakiston Co.
Republished by:– Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.
    Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift, (1896), v. 33, pp.775, Berlin.
    Virchows Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für
    klinische Medizin
, (1897), v. 147, pp.389. Berlin.
    Verhandlungen der Deutschen Pathologischen Gesselschaft, (1899), pp.203, Jena.


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