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Counterstains and Special Stains

Histology stains for improved target visualization and localization

Histology stains and counterstains introduce color to specific cellular structures to provide contrast to colored enzyme substrates. This makes targets easier to see, which makes it easier to interpret tissue morphology and cell structure.

Counterstains 

Counterstains stain cell nuclei and are packaged as convenient, ready-to-use solutions for use on slides or in staining dishes. Available to you (see selection guide below):

  • Vector® Hematoxylin (blue) — based on Gill's formulation, can be adjusted for optimal intensity; suitable for use with non-aqueous and aqueous mounting media and is mercury- and alcohol-free
  • Vector® Hematoxylin QS (blue) — based on a modification of Mayer's hematoxylin and was developed specifically for immunocytochemistry (ICC). It stains within 45 sec, is suitable for use with non-aqueous and aqueous mounting media, and is mercury-free
  • Vector® Methyl Green (light green) — offers a simple, two-step procedure and is an excellent alternative in multiple antigen labeling when hematoxylin obscure substrate color. It is suitable for use with non-aqueous mounting media
  • Vector® Nuclear Fast Red (pink) — offers a fast, one-step protocol and is an excellent alternative in multiple antigen labeling when hematoxylin obscure substrate color
  • Hematoxylin and Eosin Stain Kit — includes a modified Eosin for cytoplasm staining and Hematoxylin for crisp, intense blue nuclei 

Special Stains 

Use the Alcian Blue (pH 2.5) Stain Kit to visulaize sulfated and carboxylated acid mucopolysaccharides and sulfated and carboxylated sialomucins (glycoproteins).

  • Acidic sulfated Mucosubstances (blue)
  • Hyaluronic acid: Blue
  • Sialomucins (blue)
  • Nuclei (red)
Substrate SKU Vector Hematoxylin & Hematoxylin QS H-3401 & H-3404 Vector Methyl Green H-3402 Vector Nuclear Fast Red H-3403
ImmPACT DAB (brown) SK-4105 Excellent Contrast Excellent Contrast Fair Contrast
ImmPACT DAB EqV SK-4103 Excellent Contrast Excellent Contrast Fair Contrast
Vector DAB (brown) SK-4100 Excellent Contrast Excellent Contrast Fair Contrast
Vector DAB-Ni (grey-black) SK-4100 Excellent Contrast Fair Contrast* Good Contrast
ImmPACT AEC (red) SK-4205 Excellent Contrast Counterstain Incompatibility** Colour Incompatibility
ImmPACT AMEC (red) SK-4285 Excellent Contrast Counterstain Incompatibility** Colour Incompatibility
Vector AEC (red) SK-4200 Excellent Contrast Counterstain Incompatibility** Colour Incompatibility
TMB (blue) SK-4400 Colour Incompatibility Counterstain Incompatibility Excellent Contrast
ImmPACT VIP (purple) SK-4605 Fair Contrast Excellent Contrast Poor Contrast
Vector VIP (purple) SK-4600 Fair Contrast Excellent Contrast Poor Contrast
ImmPACT SG (blue-grey) SK-4705 Poor Contrast Good Contrast Excellent Contrast
Vector SG (blue-grey) SK-4700 Poor Contrast Good Contrast Excellent Contrast
ImmPACT NovaRED (red) SK-4805 Excellent Contrast Excellent Contrast*** Colour Incompatibility
Vector NovaRED (red) SK-4800 Excellent Contrast Excellent Contrast*** Colour Incompatibility
ImmPACT Vector Red (magenta) SK-5105 Excellent Contrast Excellent Contrast Colour Incompatibility
Vector Red (mangenta) SK-5100 Excellent Contrast Excellent Contrast Colour Incompatibility
Vector Black (black) SK-5200 Excellent Contrast Excellent Contrast* Excellent Contrast
Vector Blue (blue) SK-5300 Colour Incompatibility Good Contrast Excellent Contrast
BCIP?NBT (indigo) SK-5400 Colour Incompatibility Excellent Contrast* Excellent Contrast

* This substrate shows a slight decrease in sensitivity following methyl green protocol. This decrease can be minimised by reducing the heat incubation and acetone rinse times in the methyl green protocol.

** Substrate dissolves in acetone wash.

***A slight colour change in ImmPACT, NovaRED & Vector NovaRED reaction product may be seen using methyl green. 

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