Dextrin in ORO

G'day Tracey - You wondered - -

I ran the Churukian method of the Oil Red O stain.  It looks great and I
had no problems.  I am curious to know though, exactly what is the purpose
of the dextrin?

Having an old copy of Lillie+Fulmer on my bookshelf I looked in there under ORO. They say "Add 1% dextrin to stabilize and intensify the stain." Well that is a purpose, as ORO and similar fat dyes disolved in mixtures of water and an organic solvent can precipitate messily.

Which leaves me with another question, no two actually.

1. Does it work? Seem to remember checking this, but long ago and I cannot remember what we found!

2. It presumably did work at least once, for Dr Lillie: so WHY did it?
This morning's speculation follows: some dextrins do form complexes with dyes in solution (there's a chemical literature about this) which increases the solubility of the dyes in aqueous solution. If this occurs with ordinary 'dextrin' then that would indeed 'stabilize' the ORO.
Maybe! Speculation - -

OK back to work - Richard

Institute of Biomedical & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow
T direct 01796-474 480 --- E
"What should we expect? Everything."

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