Instructables

what should i preserve a pig's heart in that isn't formaldehyde?

i heard methanol and ethanol, but other than ever clear, i don't know where to obtain such chemicals. The Wikipedia for embalming fluid isn't all that helpful. i would like to keep this heart in a jar for as long as possible.

mr paloma5 years ago
i have an assortment of specimens that i have kept preserved for over 20 years in 99% isopropyl alcohol which you can get at any grocery store or pharmacy. the only problem with it is that after several years, it has a desiccating, bleaching effect. I obtained some fetal rat specimens tfrom a scientist hat were preserved in propylene glycol so i thought i'd give that a shot with my fresher specimens and it works like a dream. I got it at a chemical supply house, and had to sign a lot of papers (thanks homeland defense!) I have kept many specimens in it for more than 10 years and they look just like the day i put them in the jars! The jug says it is toxic, which it is, but keep in mind that it is also a prominent ingredient in most cosmetics, shampoos, lotions and deodorants, so i HOPE that means that in small wuantities it isn't so bad, but i still wear rubber gloves anyway.
Robb (author)  mr paloma5 years ago
i tracked down some glycerin at one of my local CVS's, the first 3 i called didn't have any. i mixed it 50/50 with water as instructed by the slip of paper that accompanied my heart. Success! it looks great. thans for all of your help. heres a picture of the finished product. i'm quite happy with how it turned out.
Robb (author)  Robb5 years ago
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VtineddD_1.JPG
Mahekun4 years ago
An interesting, non-toxic and easily obtainable method would be honey. Yes, honey! Honey has been used for thousands of years as a mummification agent because of its antimicrobal properties, and it is the only food in the world that never spoils. Some ancient tombs have been discovered in which there were cisterns containing human mummies who were completely immersed in honey.

The only drawback would be the golden colour of it, and the container you have it in would need to be completely airtight so it didn't crystallize.
Ria Hawk5 years ago
... Well, I have to ask why. Just because. But I believe that people used to preserve stuff in assorted alcohol; I know I've heard of stuff like that being preserved in rum. Basically, you want something that will really inhibit or completely stop bacterial growth, that's what causes decay. If you know a biology/chemistry teacher you can ask, they'd probably know a lot better than I would.
Robb (author)  Ria Hawk5 years ago
ok, i talked to Nasco, who i bought the heart from, they say it's shipped in a small baggie of HumecantHumecant . not even close to the 2 liters i need(this is a big jar) i can't buy it offline because i need it before Friday. my schools science department is hesitant to give me any thing flammable, so tomorrow I'll try for the humecant. i'm fairly certain they have some. thoughts?
Ria Hawk Robb5 years ago
Um... try rubbing alcohol if you can't find the actual stuff? That shouldn't be a controlled substance. I have no idea if that'll actually work, tho. Why are you keeping a pig's heart, anyway?
Robb (author)  Ria Hawk5 years ago
valentines day...duh! lol, the duh was sarcastic. i'm making a I (heart) you valentine in a LED lit large jar with a copper letter I a floating pigs heart and a copper letter u.
Ria Hawk Robb5 years ago
That's... kind of awesome, actually.
mr paloma5 years ago
(that was supposed to be "quantities" not wuantities...i should have spell checked.)
iPodGuy5 years ago
ethanol=ethyl alcohol=grain alcohol=Everclear

You can buy Everclear from the liquor store. It's pure grain alcohol.
Robb (author)  iPodGuy5 years ago
I's 17 years old and live in a county in which Everclear is illegal. thanks though.