Long term effects of formaldehyde preservation on subsequent bone maceration procedures: a comparative study between cold and hot water maceration

  • Ayodeji S.O. Odukoya
  • Oluwaseun Ajani
  • Taiye S. Adelodun
Keywords: Maceration, Formaldehyde, Comparative, Bones, Hot water, Cold water


This study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of cold and hot water maceration techniques for the development of bone specimens from cadavers. Three already dissected bodies of both sexes (two males and a female) obtained from the Department of Anatomy, Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria were used. The male bodies were labelled as A and B and the female as C. Before maceration, the heights of the bodies were taken to be 165 cm, 170 cm and 160 cm for A, B and C respectively. The bodies were preserved in formalin for 4 years before being used. Hot water maceration involves cooking bones in water. Bodies A and C were used in this method. While cold water maceration is simply by soaking the body in water until all the remaining flesh was removed. Hot water maceration showed changes in color of the bones, shrinkage of the bones, oily substances were seen on the surface of the chloroform during degreasing and the bones were very soft after bleaching but got harder after drying with sunlight. Cold water maceration on the other hand kept the bones white and maintained their integrity though it required a lot of time. Small bones had their flesh removed quickly in few weeks, while larger and longer bones took months. We conclude that cold water maceration done properly, results in cleaner bones and better morphological outcomes than hot water method though it requires much time.

KEYWORDS: Maceration, Formaldehyde, Comparative, Bones, Hot water, Cold water


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2305-9478
print ISSN: 2226-6054