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Biological Stains Commission

The objectives of the Biological Stain Commission are:

  • To ensure the quality of dyes through independent testing according to appropriately rigorous chemical and performance criteria.
  • To promote cooperation and dialogue among manufacturers, vendors and users of dyes for histochemical applications.
  • To educate users of biological stains about sources of reliable dyes and how they might best be used.
  • To publish information concerning new or improved uses for biological staining with dyes and related histochemical techniques.

These objectives are met by:

  • Analysis in the Commission's laboratory of dye content and composition of samples supplied voluntarily by dye manufacturers or vendors.
  • Testing performance of dye samples in rigorous standardized procedures known to be discerning tests of the staining quality of the dye
  • Issuance of certification labels to be attached to the containers used by companies marketing accepted dyes to assure consumers that these dyes have met the performance criteria of the Biological Stain Commission.
  • Conducting and supporting research on dyes used for biological staining and in histochemical techniques
  • Publishing books concerning biological dyes and histochemical techniques, and publishing Biotechnic & Histochemistry, a bimonthly journal of microtechnique and histochemistry
  • Correspondence and annual meetings, maintaining active dialogue among scientists, manufacturers and vendors concerned with biological stains.<span none;"="">

Terminology of staining. Online glossary.

In December 2018 the Biological Stain Commission published an online glossary of words, names and short phrases relating to staining and histotechnique, including fixation, tissue processing and, of course, staining – with dyes, histochemical methods and immunohistochemistry. Notable features are explanations of physical, chemical and immunological terms used in explanations of what the different kinds of fixation, processing and staining do to cells and tissues. There are abundant cross-links between entries, for speedy navigation within the glossary.

The BSC trustees have collaborated with the SDC to make relavent terms available as notes on the specific Colour Index Generic Names.