RE: celestine blue - iron alum

From:Barry R Rittman

The original celestine blue was only effective for a limited period and
staining time was around 15 minutes gradually increased. A much better
stain was prepared by mixing the dry powder with sulfuric acid and then
adding the glycerol and alum. This latter modification stains in 1-2
minutes and with deeper intensity than the original Celestine blue. The
major drawback is the preparation of the solution and its limited shelf
life of around 2-3 weeks. It is however, in my experience, superior to
iron hematoxylin in stains such as van Gieson.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bryan Llewellyn [] 
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:25 PM
To: Histonet
Subject: celestine blue - iron alum

I believe the original paper introducing iron alum mordanted celestine
blue B was:

Proescher, F. and Arkush, A. S. (1928),
Metallic lakes of the oxazines (gallamin blue, gallocyanin and coelestin
blue) as nuclear stain substitutes for hematoxylin.
Stain Technology, v3, p28-38.

Coelestin is an older way of spelling celestine.  This method was
revived as an alum hematoxylin substitute during the shortage of that
dye in the 1970s. Most people who did work on hematoxylin substitutes
then, referred to this paper as the original.

It appears that Lendrum and McFarlane added glycerol to the solution
(according to Gray), and used their modification in the celestine blue
hemalum sequence.

Lendrum and McFarlane, (1940),
Journal of pathology and bacteriology, v50, p381

Bryan Llewellyn

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