[Histonet] Alcian Blue 2.5
jkiernan <@t> uwo.ca
Wed Mar 24 12:55:21 CDT 2010
If the colour washes out of the stained sections, the dye is not alcian blue, whatever the label on the bottle might say. Ask for a refund.
One of the criteria for certifying alcian blue for use as a biological stain is that the soluble dye becomes completely insoluble and cannot be extracted. The tests for certification are all published - Biotech. Histochem. 77:237-275, 2002 - (pp. 241-242 for alcian blue). For an additional insolubilization test and revised spectrophotometric criteria for alcian blue, see also Biotech. Histochem. 83: 201-203, 2008.
If you buy a pre-made solution, check with the vendor that it contains alcian blue from a batch of dye powder that has been certified by the Biological Stain Commission (BSC). Each batch of a certified dye has a label with a number consisting of some letters (indicating the name of the stain and the company that submitted samples), a hyphen, and then a number. For example, DcAn-14 was a batch of alcian blue certified in 2009 for Dudley Chemical Co. Every bottle of certified alcian blue powder has a label with a number of that kind.
Anyone making up a solution of non-certified alcian blue should not be surprised if it doesn't work properly as a stain. Unsatisfactory dyes called "alcian blue" have been around for as long as this dye has been in use as a microscopical stain (60 years). The criteria for identifying a "good" batch were set out by Scott & Mowry in 1970: "Alcian blue - a consumer's guide". J. Histochem. Cytochem. 18:842. These criteria are essentially the same as those currently used for certification by the BSC.
= = =
----- Original Message -----
From: Laurie Elmgren <lelmgren <@t> sunriselab.com>
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 5:34
Subject: [Histonet] Alcian Blue 2.5
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Hi Everyone,
> Lately, we have been having a problem with our Alcian Blue. It
> is fine
> up to the washing step. Once it hits the water, the blue fades to
> unacceptable. We have tried reducing the water rinse after the
> blue to
> just a quick rinse in d-H20, and it is still poor. The vendor replaced
> the kit, and it worked fine the first time, then two weeks
> later, the
> same problem arose. Three different techs have tried the stain three
> times. Any suggestions?
> Laurie Elmgren
> Histology Supervisor
> Sunrise Medical Labs
> 240 Motor Pkwy
> Hauppauge, NY 11788
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