RE: [Histonet] ready-to-use commercial staining solutions
Totally agree with M Rice
Poly Scientific not only has quality staining kits, they have great service
and sales representation. My volume of special stains is not high, so it
saves a lot of tech time having someone else do the QA/QC to make sure that
the stained slides I deliver tomorrow are comparable to the ones I did for
the same person two years ago. I have had the chance to ask for a special
stain that I did not find in the book and was more than pleased that I did
not have to carry out the chloroform extraction and the stain worked
to answer your questions from my lab point of view (research not clinical)
The way we purchase our staining solutions, I see no cons to purchasing
from a commercial vendor so long as you find one that will work with you on
your specific needs.
Pros are as stated, save on tech time therefore money saved. The mess and
safety issues involved with producing your own staining solutions is
alleviated. Not just chemicals but also the glassware and equipment
required to produce your own. (I never did find a good way to store a
I use purchased staining solutions but make up the solutions like 3% Acetic
Acid etc myself. I keep stains on hand but mostly because I use to make up
my own and refuse to throw out powdered stains. I use the control slides
from the company initially to set up my own stock of control slides
because we use a variety of fixatives and it makes a difference in some of
the stains we do.
My belief is that it is important for your techs to learn how to make up
solutions including chloroform extraction. Not all places they may work
will have the option of purchasing their staining solutions and it also
gives them an appreciation of what goes into the process.
For many years, (more than I care to remember)I prepared all of my own
special stain reagents,but as time went on and companies began producing
quality reagents I switched over and have never looked back. The company
that I have used for many years is Poly Scientific in New York. They can be
reached at (631)5860400 and will send you a catalogue. They will also
produce custom reagents if you desire.
Holy Cross Hospital
Ft Lauderdale Florida
From: Helen Lam [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 10:02 PM
Subject: [Histonet] ready-to-use commercial staining solutions
Our lab is thinking about switching to ready-to-use commercial stains. And
I think there is no better place than the Histonet to gather opinions
form Histo.people, right?
1.. What are the pros and cons of using commercial staining solutions?
2.. Are there anybody out there already using it? Is it possible to
replace most if not all of the 'home-made' reagents you regularly use in
your stains by commercial products? If yes/no, why?
3.. Even if you are using commercial reagents, is it still necessary to
keep a small amount of dyes and chemicals in stock as a 'back-up', just in
case the supply of commercial reagents may become uncertain?
4.. How do you test the commerical reagents and prove that it works
satisfactorily on your sections / in your applications?
5.. Are the price , quality and shelf-life acceptable? (It would be
apprecaited if you could also indicate what brand of what staining solution
you are using.)
6.. Considering the price, quality and shelf-life of commerical reagents,
do you think they can satisfactorily replace 'home-made' stains in our
setting? We have 20-30 slides to do everyday by hand (mainly alcian blue,
PAS, a few renal and liver penals every week, some requests for
micro-organisms at times). By switching to commercial reagents, we hope
that we could reduce the amount or eliminate altogether the need to keep a
stock of dangerous chemicals and dye powder. This in turn should save us
some storage space, money(especially for keeping stock of rarely used dyes
or chemicals that may go bad after years of standing) and man-hours in
So what do you think? Any response to any of the above questions are
welcome. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance!
Tuen Mun Hospital
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