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Gum Adhesive

Gum Adhesives

Gums are complex, sticky carbohydrates derived from plants. One of the most common is gum arabic, obtained from the acacia tree, and also known as gum acacia for that reason. It is edible and is often added to foods, candies and other products.


The Böhm and Davidoff variant is also known as the Japanese method.

Mayer’s egg albumenA smallamount
Gum Arabic0.5% aqu.


  1. Prepare a slide with Mayer’s egg albumen spread as thinly as possible.
  2. Dry at 70-80°C. Do not use a lower temperature as the albumen must coagulate.
  3. Cool. This may be done ahead of time.
  4. Place some warm gum arabic solution on an albuminised slide and flatten the section on it.
  5. Drain excess gum arabic. Bake on as usual.
Gum Arabic0.1% aqu.
Potassium dichromate0.5% aqu.


  1. Spread a thin layer of gum arabic on a slide.
  2. Flood the slide with warm potassium dichromate solution and float out the sections on it to flatten.
  3. Drain the excess potassium dichromate and bake on as usual.

Safety Note

Prior to handling any chemical, consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for proper handling and safety precautions.


  1. Gray, Peter. (1954)
    The Microtomist’s Formulary and Guide.
    Originally published by: The Blakiston Co.
    Republished by: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.
    Böhm and Davidoff, (1905)
    The rest of the reference is defective.
    Chamberlain, C. J., (1915)
    Methods in plant histology, ed. 3, p. 114.
    University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.