Re: indelible keratin staining
|From:||"J. A. Kiernan" <email@example.com>|
On Thu, 2 Aug 2001, Dalefield, Rosalind wrote:
> Can anyone suggest something that will permanently stain keratin?
> This is actually for keratin in the living animal; I want to mark ...
> ... hooves of Merino sheep so I can track rate of hoof growth.
If this means something to draw a line that won't wash off,
on the outside of the hoof, then here are some suggestions.
I'm assuming you need a thinnish (0.5-1.0 mm) line that can
be applied from a fine brush or very thin glass tube.
1. Silver nitrate. Use a strong solution (10% at least). If
it dries before a black mark develops, cover it with
varnish, to prevent difusion of unreduced silver ions
2. Scribe grooves in the hooves (yes, I know that's not quite
write, but it sownds OK), apply a bit of some permanent
pigment such as Indian ink or house paint, wipe off the
stuff that hasn't lodged in the groove, and cover the
area with some transparent varnish.
3. This is if you've _must_ be histochemical. Place a line
of acidified potassium permanganate solution to mark
the current level of hoof-keratin; wash it off and then
apply an alcian blue solution, which will bind to
cysteic acid formed by oxidation of cystine. Wash in
water, and then treat briefly with ammonia-water to
ensure that all the alcian blue is changed to completely
insoluble copper phthalocyanine. If you seriously
consider this option, consult a psychiatrist before
asking by email for detailed technical instructions
from people you don't know.
You will get many answers to your unusual and interesting
query. Please tell Histonet what you eventualy decide is
the best answer.
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London, Canada N6A 5C
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