What is it about?

The industrial production of hematoxylin from logwood is described, and the reasons for occasional shortages of hematoxylin are explained. Among dyes used instead of hematoxylin, celestine blue (CI 51050, Mordant blue 14) and eriochrome cyanine R (CI 43820, Mordant blue 3) can be used in staining solutions for cell nuclei, providing results similar to those seen with hemalum. Eriochrome cyanine R can also be used for staining myelin.

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Why is it important?

Hematoxylin is the precursor of hematein, the dye present in hemalum ("alum hematoxylin") solutions, which are routinely used in diagnostic pathology. When hematoxylin is not available, an alternative dye must be used.

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This page is a summary of: Hematoxylin shortages: their causes and duration, and other dyes that can replace hemalum in routine hematoxylin and eosin staining, Biotechnic & Histochemistry, January 2010, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.3109/10520290903048400.
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