RE: [Histonet] safranin for marking small specimens

From:"Mike Pence"

We put about 10 mL of our staining eosin in the first ETOH and this is
enough to give just some color to the tissue no matter how small for
those "aging eyes"


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 10:44 AM
Subject: [Histonet] safranin for marking small specimens

Marking small biopsy specimens so that the embedder can find them after
processing - this question has been raised several times on Histonet,
particularly since a favorite marking dye, Mercurochrome, is no longer

Recently in my travels I've found a service that uses safranin for this
purpose. The tissue is put on lens paper or on a blue biopsy foam pad,
and the dye is dabbed onto the tissue with the tip of a wooden
applicator stick. Tissue is easily visible to the embedder, and is
visible in the finished paraffin block.

The technique is particularly valuable on this pathology service, where
both the pathologists (including me!) and the histotechnologist have
elderly eyes, illumination is insufficient, and magnification is not

We're not talking about marking margins (india ink and colored inks).
The safranin is not visible in the slides.

The safranin solution is the one used as the Gram stain counterstain by
the microbiology laboratory, so that nothing new needs to be ordered.
Specifically, it's safranin (Colour Index 50240, not saffron) 0.6% w/v,
in 20% reagent alcohol.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN
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