Vascular Corrosion Casting: Review of Resin Types, Techniques, Cast Examination and its Application to the Study of Fish Physiology

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Richard Spieler

Second Advisor

David W. Kerstetter


Vascular corrosion casting is defined as a tissue preparation technique that involves injecting a resin (typically plastic) into blood vessels or other hollow viscera and treating the tissue with a caustic substance resulting in a negative copy of the enclosed space (Aharinejad and Lametschmandtner, 1992; Motta et al., 1992). Since its development in the 1930’s there have been many resins developed and marketed to the scientific and medical communities with each type having pros and cons that have never been listed or compared (Vollmerhaus 2002; Aharinejad and Lametschwandtner, 1992; Motta et al., 1992). Cast attributes were drawn from multiple sources including peer reviewed scientific journal papers and manufacturer descriptions and data sheets, as well as personal experience using the resin types to cast the vasculature of several species of snapper (Lutjanidae). The Mercox II resin developed by Ladd Research Industries Inc. (Burlington, Vermont, USA) had traits that make it the best resin for general use in vascular corrosion casting studies of fish vasculature. The low viscosity resin did not require chemical dilution, had the most consistent polymerization with minimal shrinkage, and was able to replicate fine surface details of the fish vasculature including endothelial cell nuclear imprints This paper describes and compiles the various attributes of the most widely used resins and how they can facilitate the study and standardization of fish vascular anatomy.

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