Many specimens that come to the lab for scanning are often soft bodied and require a technique called fixation
The fixation technique is designed to preserve the cellular structure of the specimen so when observed under the SEM the dead specimen will (should) resemble that of a live specimen. This process offers the scientist a close up look of what the cells, ie skin, head, organs etc look like when alive.
Various chemicals processes are used to fix the specimen. These chemicals are very dangerous to human health and care must be taken when dealing with them.
Colin Macgregor , Manager, Materials Conservation