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Methylmethacrylate Embedding (MMA)

Photo by Robert A. Lisak
Portion of undemineralized rabbit lumbar spine embedded in methylmethacrylate plastic block ready for cutting on microtome.

This process is suitable for undemineralized (undecalcified) bone samples from all species (mammalian, avian, reptilian, amphibian) as well as calcein labeled samples and special applications such as blood vessels with metallic stents. Samples processed using this method can be evaluated for fluorescent markers of bone mineralization fronts and bone formation rates, Von Kossa stain for mineral and enzyme histochemical staining (alkaline and acid phosphatase) as well as all routine stains. This method is optimal for bone histology and preservation of enzyme activity and bone mineral.

Reference: Kacena MA, Troiano NW, Wilson KM, Coady CE, Horowitz MC. Evaluation of two different methylmethacrylate processing, infiltration, and embedding techniques on the histological, histochemical, and immunohistochemical analysis of murine bone specimens. J Histotech, 27:119-130, 2004.

Preparation Instructions

Bones for submission for this type of processing should be stripped of soft tissue and fixed immediately in 70% ethanol at a ratio of 20X volume of fixative to bone sample and kept refrigerated at 4˚C (NOT FROZEN) for up to one month maximum.

Please Note

We strongly recommend that you contact the lab before you start your experiment to consult on the most appropriate preparation to maximize success of your work. Absolutely no tissues previously frozen will be accepted for MMA, GMA or Paraffin processing!