What is the Difference Between Histology Stains?

Selecting the correct stain depends on multiple factors

by | Mar 10, 2023

From acidine orange to giemsa to toluidine blue—a comprehensive guide to tissue staining techniques

Contract Laboratory frequently receives requests from healthcare facilities needing a histology laboratory for histology staining. So, what is the difference between Histology Stains used in Histology Staining? Histology is the study of the microscopic structures (microanatomy) of tissues and cells from plants and animals, done by examining these samples under a microscope. Staining is done in samples of cells and tissues to enhance contrast when viewed under a microscope. The ability to differentiate structures of tissue or cell samples is enhanced through histology stains.

Thin skin showing the epidermis with its different layers resting on the dermis.

Histology stains are selected according to the tissue being observed. Different stains react differently in parts of a sample. Knowing the properties of stains can help determine which stain to use to reveal specific structures or draw attention to certain areas of a tissue or cell sample. Some common histology stains used in histology staining are listed below.

  • Acridine Orange is a fluorescent dye used for cell cycle determination
  • Masson’s Trichroms is used to stain connective tissues
  • Azan is good for distinguishing cells from other components
  • Giemsa is generally used to stain blood and bone marrow
  • Wright’s stain is most often used for blood cells
  • Toluidine blue is used for general staining

Contract Laboratory has helped many companies with their Histology projects. Below are some examples  of Histology Test Requests:

  • CAP or CLIA-certified histology laboratory is needed to process and analyze paraffin blocks of human skin samples that we would like to have cut for slides, and then subsequently analyzed for H&E and Gomori’s Trichrome.
  • Europe University Researcher needs a histology laboratory for Immunohistochemistry for CD52 on a tissue slide (paraffin-embedded, formalin fixation.
  • FDA GMP Medical Device Laboratory needed for biocompatibility testing of polypropylene mesh for medical use for a 510(k) application in accordance with the Blue Book Guidance G95-1, (Use of International Standard ISO-10993, Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices Part 1: Evaluation and Testing), acceptable test results should be supplied for the biological tests listed below. Standard protocols such as those identified by the USP or ASTM should be used in conducting the biocompatibility testing, if possible. Such tests should be performed on devices ready for surgical use (i.e., after manufacture, sterilization and packaging for commercial distribution). Cytotoxicity Sensitization Irritation or Intracutaneous reactivity Systemic toxicity (acute) Genotoxicity Implantation (with histology of the surrounding tissue) Hemolysis Pyrogenicity For products that remain in the body for greater than 30 days, the following additional tests are recommended: Subchronic toxicity Chronic toxicity Long term carcinogenicity studies should be performed with any device in which a positive genotoxicity test result was obtained.
  • LONG-TERM: Preclinical CRO Immunology/Histology Laboratory needed for Non-GLP histological processing from buffered formalin-fixed tissues (human and animal, size 6 mm diameter, approx. 40 um thick) into H&E stained slides (at 3 different levels) and about 10 FFPE unstained slides for further subsequent immunohistochemistry,
  • France University researcher needs a histology laboratory for Immunohistochemistry on 1 slide (TMA) for research antibodies (already purchased or not, example ALDH, SOX).

And many more. View other Histology Staining  View Laboratory Test Requests for Histology Staining

If your pharmaceutical company, hospital, health clinic,  or other healthcare facilities needs histology laboratories for histology staining,  submit a Histology Laboratory Test Request.

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