5 Difference Between Stain And Dye In Histology

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What Is Stain?

Staining is a technique used to enhance contrast in samples, generally at the microscopic level. Stains and dyes are frequently used in histology (the study of tissue under the microscope) and in the medical fields of histopathology, hematology, and cytopathology that focus on the study and diagnoses of disease at a microscopic level. Stains may be used to define biological tissues (highlighting, for example, muscle fibers or connective tissue), cell populations (classifying different blood cells), or organelles within individual cells.

Stain is composed of three components: Benzene ring, chromophore and auxochrome.

  • Benzene ring is the colorless part of the stain and it is basic structural component of a stain.
  • Chromophore is the functional group of a stain that give color to the stain.The benzene ring and chromophore are collectively referred to as chromogen.
  • Auxochrome is the group that gives ionic property to the stain.

What You Need To Know About Stain In Histology

  • A mixture of selected dyes to color a particular biological specimen.
  • It is a mixture of dyes.
  • Highlights different components in different colors.
  • It is used in histology to increase the contrast between microorganisms or parts and the background, so that it can be easily visible.
  • Examples include: Toluidine blue, Masson’s trichome stain, Wright’s stain.

What Is A Dye?

A dye is a colored substance that chemically bonds to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution and may require a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber.  

What You Know About Dye In Histology

  • A single chemical reagent contained in a stain.
  • It is a chemical reagent.
  • Only highlights a specific component of the tissue in one color.
  • It is used to highlight a specific component within a tissue.
  • Examples include: Methyl green, Pyronin G, Aniline blue, orange G.

Difference Between Stain And Dye In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON STAIN DYE
Description A mixture of selected dyes to color a particular biological specimen.   A single chemical reagent contained in a stain.  
Nature It is a mixture of dyes.   It is a chemical reagent.  
Use Highlights different components in different colors.   Only highlights a specific component of the tissue in one color.  
Examples Toluidine blue, Masson’s trichome stain, Wright’s stain. Methyl green, Pyronin G, Aniline blue, orange G.  

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