Any point getting stains with a stereo microscope?

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Stonius
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Any point getting stains with a stereo microscope?

#1 Post by Stonius » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:25 am

I've been playing with a stereo microscope (20-60x) and have been amazed at what it is possible to see even at these magnifications.

I know stains are usually used for fixing slides for compound microscopes, but is there any reason they wouldn't work also with a stereo microscope?

I've been able to observe cells in fruit and veg, and organelles inside paramecia. It seems to me that it might be possible to see a lot more without having to resort to a compound scope just yet or go through the whole paraffin slide fixing process.

I'm thinking of trying a H&E stain, but I'm not wanting to spend ages prepping specimens, if that makes sense - I'm just a curious hobbyist.

Cheers

Markus

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mrsonchus
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Re: Any point getting stains with a stereo microscope?

#2 Post by mrsonchus » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:57 am

They certainly do add to hand sections, see here
See here too....

Suggest, safranin (powder to mix yourself), alcian-blue - both aqueous, both cheap and available as powders!
John B

Stonius
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Re: Any point getting stains with a stereo microscope?

#3 Post by Stonius » Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:07 pm

Thanks John, those threads were great! Fantastic detail! It's nice to see the kind of results you can get with hand-sectioning.

Would you say those stains are a better bet to start off with than Eyosin and Hematoxalin?

Cheers

Markus

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mrsonchus
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Re: Any point getting stains with a stereo microscope?

#4 Post by mrsonchus » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:27 pm

Stonius wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:07 pm
Thanks John, those threads were great! Fantastic detail! It's nice to see the kind of results you can get with hand-sectioning.

Would you say those stains are a better bet to start off with than Eyosin and Hematoxalin?

Cheers

Markus
Without a shadow of doubt yes - Haematoxylin (I use Harris for nuclear staining as it also acts very well as a general, and single stain, for my mounted sections) is very good for Botanicals but it's alcohol/water carrier/solvent as used (rather than the purely aqueous of safranin and alcian-blue) is an extra hassle with live/fresh hand sections which don't really shine in alcohol. Personally I find eosin to be of little use for Botanicals - just never seems to 'take' strongly enough even though it's a plasma-stain at heart.

Safranin and alcian-blue are superb together (applied serially or even as a combination or 'bi-stain') as nuclear/lignin and plasma/cellulose stain and counter-stains respectively. The alcian-blue really has no interest in those tissue/cell-components that are most attractive to safranin and the two differentiate quite nicely - very nicely in fact. I think you'll find eosin/haematoxylin a bit of a chore, speaking in the context of botanical subjects that is....

Get cutting, you'll find it's far easier than you imagine!
John B

MicroBob
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Re: Any point getting stains with a stereo microscope?

#5 Post by MicroBob » Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:50 pm

Hi Markus,
your microscope will give you an nice overview of botanical sections and even show a bit smaller details. Differentiating staining makes it easier to identify different functional structures and also offer a more attractive view. I like Etzold FCA stain and Wacker W3A stain. You will find examples when searching for these stains.

Bob

apochronaut
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Re: Any point getting stains with a stereo microscope?

#6 Post by apochronaut » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:28 pm

The last one I bought was covered in stains but I eventually got most of them off!

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