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URMC / Research / Electron Microscopy / Services / Protocols/ Techniques / Color High-Resolution Plastic Sections

Color High-Resolution Plastic Sections

Color High-Resolution (2.5 micron) Plastic Sections Utilizing Basic Fuchsin and Methylene Blue as a Hematoxylin & Eosin (H & E) Like Stain and Trichrome-Like Stain
This colorful plastic section technique allows the investigator to examine large tissue blocks (1.0 x 1.0 x 0.2 cm) which are processed and embedded in Spurr epoxy resin for 2.5 um plastic sectioning using a JB-4 microtome. The sections are attached to glass slides and stained sequentially with methylene blue and basic fuchsin and coverslipped. The result is a brilliant H & E-like staining of the nuclear and cytoplasmic elements with a Trichrome-like stain. Listed below are the various cellular components in tissues that can be identified by this unique plastic section staining technique. Specific areas or cells can also be "popped off" these stained sections for ultrastructural examination.

Cellular Component Stain Color   Cellular Component Stain Color
collagen turquoise blue   elastin brilliant red-purple
glycogen blue   lipid olive green
myelin dark purple   intestinal mucin pink to purple
gastric mucin gray purple   mast cell granules purple
lipofuscin green-black   melanin mahogany
basement membrane pink      

Colorful plastic section 1 Colorful plastic section 2
Colorful plastic section 3 Colorful plastic section 4

Ref: di Sant'Agnese, P.A. and de Mesy Jensen (Bentley), K.L.: Dibasic staining of large epoxy tissue sections and applications to surgical pathology. Amer. J. Clin. Pathol. 81:25, 1984.