Re: supravital staining

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From:Mick Rentsch <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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Supravital staining is any mechanism used to demonstrate a process /s or
structure/s with living cells.
The most universal method still in use in Pathology is employed in most
Haematology sections on a dialy basis and is for the demonstration of
Reticulocytes (not to be confused with reticulin) and erythrocyte turnover.
Solutions can use either Brilliant Cresyl Blue or New Methylene Blue which
is the more reliable.
Other methods can be used to determine viable cell counts, eg. in semen
straws etc.
Even radioisotopic methods can fit into this category, just another means of
Mike (Downunder)
-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Date: Thursday, 17 December 1998 7:39
Subject: supravital staining

>Paul Millikin in Peoria IL notes:
>>>Supravital staining means putting a small drop of blood on a stained
>and adding a coverslip, then waiting for a few minutes for the living white
>cells to take up the stain. ... I use slides dipped in 0.25-0.5% toluidine
>blue (in absolute ethanol) and then dried on end at 60 degrees C.<<
>In the early 1960's when I was a medical student at Washington University
>St. Louis (now the home of the Coenorhabditis elegans genome!) the
>hematologists, under the direction of the formidable Virginia Minnich, used
>supravital stain for peripheral blood, using neutral red and malachite
>and apochromatic lenses and a fair amount of mystery and mumbo-jumbo. Their
>differential counts always differed from the Wright-Giemsa results, and of
>course (by definition) were always right. I've never heard of this
>again, and I have no idea of its details.
>Bob Richmond
>Samurai Pathologist
>Knoxville TN

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