RE: Alcian Blue for ... [urban myths]

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From:Mark Ray <> (by way of histonet)
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I was not quite correct in saying that Aldrich had sold out their last
batch of Alcian Blue 8GX.  At the present moment they have 1x5g and 1x25g
cat no 236551 in stock.  When we  attempted to purchase a manufacturing
quantity this spring, they told us that it was unavailable.  I guess they
still had some small packages, but it looks bleak for the present.
Hopefully the pyridine derivative will become generally available.

Mark Ray
EK Industries

> [Original Message]
> From: J. A. Kiernan <>
> To: jim <>
> Cc: Histonet <>
> Date: 7/7/00 1:30:20 AM
> Subject: RE: Alcian Blue for ... [urban myths]
> On Thu, 6 Jul 2000, Jim Darley wrote:
> > Here is the note from our wholesaler/ manufacturer:
> >
> > "Thank you for your E Mail concerning Alcian Blue 8GX. As per previous
> > correspondence the problem is with us and will not disappear.
> > The last 3 years we found some old ICI material (low dye content
10-20%), which
> > we upgraded. That has come to an end; no company in the world to our
> > is producing the material, textile quality or stains quality. ..."
> > ... a 1996 CD ROM will not reveal anything that has happened during
> > the past three years.
>   That's true; I don't have the 1999 version of the C.I. CD-ROM.
>   However, on May 11th 1999 the Biol Stain Commission certified a
>   batch of alcian blue 8GX for the Aldrich Chemical Company. See
>   Biotech. & Histochem. 74 (5) p. 274 (Sept 1999). So there must
>   have been some new stuff around last year.
>   Alcian blue 8GX (dye content approx 50%) is in the Sigma
>   and Aldrich catalogues for 2000-2001; same price as
>   haematoxylin. (Curiously, both dyes are about $10 cheaper for
>   25 grams if you buy from Sigma rather than Aldrich. Strange,
>   when they're the same company! In the Fluka catalogue for
>   1999-2000 - also the same firm, I think - the prices of both
>   dyes are some $20 higher than Aldrich's.) Aldrich also supply
>   a "pyridine variant" of alcian blue, which is more expensive,
>   and in the past they sold another variant called "alcec blue,"
>   which could also be used for the same staining methods (see
>   F. Green 1991: The Sigma-Aldrich Handbook of Stains, Dyes and
>   Indicators, p. 69-72).
>   A low dye content such as the 10-20% in your old ICI material
>   is not necessarily a bad thing for alcian blue, and batches
>   with high dye content (70% +) often perform badly. It seems
>   likely that the additives (dextrin, boric acid etc) are
>   needed in adequate amount.
>  John A. Kiernan,
>  Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
>  The University of Western Ontario,
>  LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1

--- Mark Ray
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