Standardization of biological dyes and stains: pitfalls and possibilities

Histochemistry. 1991;95(4):319-28. doi: 10.1007/BF00266958.


The present paper gives a review of the actual state of standardization of biological dyes and stains. In a first part general information is given on practical problems encountered by the routine user of dyes with special emphasis on dye contamination. Some theoretical aspects of standardization are discussed. The second part of the paper gives more detailed information on commercial batches of hematoxylin-eosin-, Giemsa- and Papanicolaou-stains and on their standardization. Special problems arising with the application of image analysis techniques are briefly mentioned. User-oriented specifications for the standardization of dyes, stains and staining procedures are given. Fluorescent dyes and dyes used in chromogenic reagents such as the Feulgen-Schiff reaction are not included in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromogenic Compounds
  • Coloring Agents / standards*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • Staining and Labeling / standards*


  • Chromogenic Compounds
  • Coloring Agents
  • Fluorescent Dyes