Visikol® for Plant Biology™

Visikol® for Plant Biology™2022-11-29T09:48:10-05:00

Visikol for Plant Biology was originally developed by Dr. Thomas Villani at Rutgers University as a direct replacement for Hertwig’s solution which had been used for over a hundred years to render plant samples transparent for microscopic visualization. The problem with Hertwig’s solution was that it is a controlled narcotic in the US and many other countries which makes acquiring it challenging. Therefore, Dr. Villani developed the Visikol for Plant Biology reagent which performs similarly to Hertwig’s solution in that all a researcher has to do is immerse their sample in the reagent and wait for it to become transparent. Through rendering a plant sample transparent, a researcher can easily study complex morphological features for routine botanical quality control and educational purposes.


1. If using a staining protocol, conduct your normal staining protocol prior to clearing with Visikol for Plant Biology.

2. Place your sample on a glass microscope slide and add sufficient Visikol for Plant Biology until clear the sample is covered. Place a cover slip on top of your sample and wait 10 minutes to a few hours (waxier plant leaves will take considerable longer to clear). Clearing can be accelerated by pretreating with ethanol to dehydrate sample or using KOH to remove waxy cuticle.

A tool for research

Visikol for Plant Biology has been used by researchers at hundreds of universities to aid in the study of plants. Rendering whole tissues transparent allows for comprehensive study of morphology and development, as well as for the study of disease vectors and infection pathways. Visikol for Plant Biology is a versatile tool and is compatible with a wide range of staining procedures.

Peer reviewed

The performance of Visikol for Plant Biology as a replacement for chloral hydrate was demonstrated to be as effective in clearing a number of botanical species. This work has been published in Applications in Plant Sciences, published by the Botanical Society of America. Learn more→

White paper

In this white paper, the superior clearing action of Visikol for Plant Biology on Arabidopsis thaliana can be easily observed when directly compared to acidified chloral hydrate solution. Visikol for Plant Biology is a rapid clearing agent for studying the morphology of Arabidopsis thaliana in whole specimens. Learn more→