Re: Mayer's hematoxylin and chloral hydrate

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From:Amos Brooks <>
To:Phyllis Davie <>
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    When you rinse your sections after counterstaining, use warm water. This
will give a very nice nuclear detail. :-)
Amos Brooks

Phyllis Davie wrote:

> I have been having trouble with the hematoxylin counterstain for my
> immunos.  It is generally weak, with poor nuclear detail.  I have been
> purchasing Mayer's hematoxylin, and I have tried 4 different vendors now,
> all with the same results.  My first question is; what can be causing
> this weak staining, and what can I do to fix it?  (I have been
> counterstaining from 4-15 minutes, and many times, the staining--poor as
> it is--drops off markedly after just a few racks of slides)
> The second part of my question is this;  We decided to make our own
> Mayer's hematoxylin, but the recipe we found in the AFIP Laboratory
> Methods in Histotechnology, p. 52, calls for 50g of chloral hydrate.
> Unfortunately, chloral hydrate is a class IV DEA (Drug Enforcement
> Agency) regulated substance, and no-one here has a DEA license.  Can
> anyone tell me what is the purpose of the chloral hydrate in the
> hematoxylin is?
> Thank you
> Phyllis Davie
> Clinical Laboratory Supervisor
> PhenoPath Laboratories
> Seattle, WA
> (206)374-9009  phone
> (206)374-9009  fax

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