Resins and resin compounds interact with tissue in two ways, physico-chemically and by chemical reaction. The physico-chemical influences affect both the structure and biological activity of the tissue causing proteins to change shape or phase equilibria to be disrupted by a change in solvent or by the growth of polymer networks within existing biological polymeric structures. Chemical reactivity between tissue and resin components also reduces biological activity by changing either the structure of polymeric matter already present, e.g., crosslinking proteins, grafting hydrophobic resins onto hydrophilic protein backbones, or by modifying the hydrophobicity of specific sites, e.g., acylation of amino groups by hydrophobic anhydrides. The consequences of all these interactions can only be a fall in activity of the tissue leading to longer reaction times and the need for amplification of specific group reaction. Low crosslink densities, moderate temperatures, and partial rather than total removal of water are possible ways of reducing the effects of resin tissue interaction.
Causton, B. E.
"Does the Embedding Chemistry Interact with Tissue?,"
Scanning Electron Microscopy: Vol. 4
, Article 23.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/electron/vol4/iss1/23