Histology FAQ

Staining, Histochemistry and Histotechnology

(Frequently Asked Questions)


Dr. John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London, Canada



FAQ Home > Staining Methods, Histochemistry


Cartilage staining with safranine


How do you stain cartilage with safranine?


The Safranin O method for Cartilage goes like this;

  1. Dewax section and take to water.
  2. Stain nuclei with a suitable iron haematoxylin.
  3. Blue in running tapwater.
  4. Rinse in distilled water.
  5. Stain with 1% light green diluted 1 in 5 with distilled water, for 3 minutes.
  6. Rinse in 1% acetic acid.
  7. Stain with 0.1% Saffranin O, for 4 - 6 minutes.
  8. Rinse in 1% acetic acid and check under microscope. Any
      overstaining with Safranin can be modified by re-applying the
      light green solution briefly, and vice versa.
  9. Dehydrate with alcohol,clear and mount.

(Modified from the method in Lillie's "Histopathological Technic and Practical Histochemistry")

John Difford
London, England