methyl cellulose


Cellulose methyl ether, produced by treating cellulose from wood or cotton with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide, followed by methyl chloride. The resulting

product is a white granular solid, soluble in cold water but insoluble in hot water. It is used as a thickening agent for aqueous preparations and as a substitute for

natural gums, and particularly as a stabilizer in emulsions. It has also been used to greaseproof paper and as an additive in adhesives to increase film strength,

flexibility and adhesion. (198 )




  (Source: R. Warga)


  For a slightly less rigid mounting medium, use a lower concentration of agarose (0.1%) or 3% methyl cellulose.i.Methyl cellulose; (Sigma M-0387). Methyl cellulose

  is especially good for orienting young embryos (less than 10 h old).


  1. Apply a drop of 3% methyl cellulose in embryo medium to a depression slide.


  2. Suck an embryo up into a pasteur pipette and position it near the opening in the pipette.


  3. Plunge the pipette into the methyl cellulose and gently expel the embryo with as little medium as possible. The medium around the embryo will be quickly

  absorbed into the methyl cellulose.


  4. Use a fine loop of nylon fishing line to orient the embryo.


  5. Place a drop of saline over the well to keep the preparation from drying out and getting too sticky.


  6. To release the embryo, drop the entire slide into embryo medium for a few minutes. The methyl cellulose will absorb the medium and become very soft so that the

  embryo can be teased free with the nylon loop.


  The methyl cellulose will swell and soften, and eventually the embryo will come free from the gel. If you are in a hurry, be patient for 15-30 minutes of softening

  before scraping the methyl cellulose away from the embryo with the nylon hair loop. Alternatively, embryos in methyl cellulose can soak overnight by leaving the

  slide in the dish containing embryo medium. However, if you do this, you should add antibiotics to the medium (final concentration 2% penicillin/streptomycin in

  embryo medium,