Omaha, NE – Formalin has been widely used by pathology laboratories; its carcinogenicity has led researchers to explore formalin substitutes. One such alternative product, Streck Cell Preservative, is a formalin-free preservative. Streck Research & Development scientist Jianbing Qin undertook the challenge to investigate the effects of cell preservation on molecular applications by using Streck Cell Preservative as compared to control frozen cells and cells fixed in the traditional cell and tissue fixative, 10% neutral buffered formalin.

The resulting paper, a collaboration of Streck scientists with researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, entitled “A formalin-free method for stabilizing cells for nucleic acid amplification, hybridization and next-generation sequencing,” was published in December 2015 by BMC Research Notes (

The study showed Streck Cell Preservative can be used as a formalin-free preservative when performing nucleic acid amplification by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and next-generation sequencing (NGS) using SKBR-3 cell line as a model. The PCR data showed that similar DNA extraction yields and amplification profiles in Streck Cell Preservative preserved cells and control frozen cells, whereas neutral buffered formalin preserved cells had decreased DNA yield and impaired PCR amplification. The FISH data indicated the ratios of ERBB2 (HER-2/neu) signals to the chromosome 17 centromere (CEP17) were comparable for frozen cells and Streck Cell Preservative preserved cells. The same analysis was unsuccessful with neutral buffered formalin preserved cells due to poor hybridization quality. The data showed Streck Cell Preservative was compatible with next-generation sequence testing.

About Streck, Inc.
Streck is an industry leader in the development and manufacturing of products for clinical and research laboratories. The company’s pursuit of innovative solutions has produced an extensive list of patented products. Streck’s core technology is cell stabilization; product lines support the fields of hematology, immunology and molecular diagnostics. For more information, visit

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