Visikol™: Novel Clearing Agent and Mounting Medium to replace Chloral Hydrate Solution for use in Microscopy, Forensics, Quality Control, Education, and Biological, Food, and Earth Sciences

The microscopic view of the upper epidermis underlying palisade cells of mate leaves (Ilex paraguariensis ) treated with a VisikolTM solution (right) was clearer than that of cells treated with an acidified chloral hydrate glycerol solution (left).

Invention Summary:

Rutgers scientists have identified a novel chemical solution, VisikolTM, for clearing and mounting tissues for microscopic identification. The newly identified chemical solution is constituted of chemical compounds that have never been used for such applications.

Visikol can be used as a replacement for the universally used clearing agent for microscopy, namely, an acidified chloral hydrate glycerol solution. Choral hydrate is used as the key compound in a wide variety of reagents such as Hertwig’s solution, yet one of the main disadvantages of chloral hydrate is that it is a controlled substance (depressant, sedative, and hypnotic). As such, chloral hydrate requires Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approval and compliance, which can be a lengthy, time-consuming, and costly procedure. On the other hand, the components of Visikol do not require such approval. In addition, Visikol can effectively and safely replace chloral hydrate, which has been shown to cause chronic and acute toxicity, and irritation to eyes, skin, mucous membranes, and the respiratory system. Experiments have shown that, in terms of efficacy, Visikol matched or outperformed chloral hydrate-based solutions and exhibited a refractive index greater than acidified chloral hydrate glycerol solution.

Market Application:

  • Clearing and Mounting Agent for Microscopy
  • Histology
  • Forensics
  • Biological, Food, and Earth Sciences
  • Quality Control
  • Education


  • The components of Visikol are inexpensive, easy to acquire, and do not require DEA approval and compliance.
  • The Visikol solution of the invention has a high refractive index (higher than acidified chloral hydrate glycerol solution and in some cases higher than glass), resulting in similar or clearer quality.
  • It can be used for both living organisms and non-living materials, is stable, and is compatible with other microscopy stains and dyes.
  • This versatile solution can be used as a semi-permanent or permanent mounting agent in addition to being used as a clearing agent.

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending

Rutgers ID: 2012-146
Life Sciences
Medical Devices
Research Tools
Deborah Perez
Senior Licensing Manager
James Simon
Adolfina Koroch
Thomas Villani