Re: Fontana-Masson stain kit

From:Gayle Callis <>

Hrapchak and Sheehan Theory and Practice of Histotechnology, p 277
discusses the chemical reaction for Fontana Masson stain plus giving the
original reference. Other good histotechnology textbooks should also have
this information if you get no replies from Histonetters.   Human appendix
is a good positive control tissue if I recall, and was the tissue used for
this stain for an HTL exam many moons ago.  The stain is easy to do, and
very pretty.  A hospital could supply you with tissue, if permitted, and if
the appendix is not horribly messed up.



>Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2001 12:59:13 -0800 (PST)
>From: Miriam Schroeder <>
>Subject: Re: Fontana-Masson stain kit
>I made several posts to the Histonet recently with
>questions about Fontana-Masson staining and never did
>get ANY replies which I found quite unusual. 
>Fortunately, I was able to get the stain to work
>without any advice.  (I was worried maybe I was doing
>something wrong - but once I got ahold of some control
>slides I was able to confirm that my experimental
>tissue simply was not positive for this stain, it was
>NOT a question of my technique.)  My posts were
>regarding the mechanism of the stain - I didn't
>understand the chemical mechanism behind the stain so
>didn't know what steps of the procedure I might want
>to try "tweaking".  Therefore, my knowledge of this
>stain is still limited, but here's what worked for me:
>I purchased reagents from American Master*Tech
>Scientific, Lodi, CA, 800-860-4073,
>  I find their catalog a bit
>tricky to navigate at times, so I'll include page
>numbers from the current catalog to help you along:
>They sell a kit, catalog #KTFMA, page 83, $85.  It's
>actually a pretty small kit, you can also order the
>individual components by bulk & request the protocol
>from the kit, that's what I did.  The bulk reagents
>are also found of pg. 83:  Gold Chloride Solution, 1
>pint, #KC0712, $95; Nuclear Fast Red, #KC0722, 1 pint,
>$70; Silver Nitrate, #KC073B, 10 vials of powder, $65;
>5% Sodium Thiosulfate, 1 pint, #KC0742, $39.
>They also sell control slides for use with this kit,
>control slides are found on page 34:
>Melanin control slides:  #CSMEL5, $26 for a pack of of
>5 slides or #CSMEL25, $100 for a pack of 25 slides.
>Argentaffin control slides: #SCAAR5, $26 for a 5-pack
>or #CSAAR25, $100 for a 25-pack.
>I ordered the Melanin slides.
>I still have very little experience with the
>Fontana-Masson stain, but I can tell you the kit
>definitely works & the control slides are good.  ALSO
>- I've been having bad luck getting decent Nuclear
>Fast Red but this stuff stained very well.
>I hope this helps.
>Miriam Schroeder
>--- Histo-Scientific Research Laboratories
><> wrote:
>> Dear Histonetters,
>> Does anyone have any recommendations for purchasing
>> a Fontana-Masson stain
>> kit?  Has anyone had good results with using a kit
>> opposed to making it up
>> yourself?  Any help is appreciated.
>> Sincerely,
>> Beth Poole
>> (540)459-8211
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Gayle Callis
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University
Bozeman MT 59717-3610
406 994-4705
406 994-4303

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