[Histonet] Dry Stains Shelf Life

John A. Kiernan jkiernan <@t> uwo.ca
Tue Jan 17 11:41:28 CST 2006

See the following publications:

Emmel VM & Stotz EH 1986. Certified biological
stains: a stability study. Stain Technol.
Titford M 2001. Comparison of historic Grubler
dyes with modern counterparts. Biotech. Histochem.
Titford, M. 2002. Save that dye! Microscopy Today

The general conclusion is that nearly all dye
powders still work after 100 years (Titford).
Quantitative assays show very little deterioration
over 20 or so years (Emmel & Stotz). Matt Frank
may have more recent information from the
Biological Stain Commission's lab.

Alcian blue 8G can deteriorate in the solid state,
changing to an insoluble pigment. This is not a
problem with the pyridine variant of alcian blue
(Churukian et al 2000, Biotech. Histochem. 75:
147-150). Acidic solutions of alcian blue 8G are
stable for some years on my shelves. Churukian's
lab manual gives a recommended shelf life of 6
months. An alcian blue solution with a precipitate
should be discarded and replaced, not filtered and
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1
Sharon E Willman wrote:
> Hi,
> What is the expiration time for dry stains and how often should you
> replenish?  Many times they do not have expiration dates on them when
> they come in from the manufacturer.
> I would appreciate any information on this matter.
> Thanks,
> Sharon Willman

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