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van Gieson’s Stain for Collagen

van Gieson's Stain

for Collagen



Tissue Sample

Paraffin sections at 5µ are suitable. Many fixatives, including formalin, are satisfactory. Stains using acid dyes often benefit from picric acid or mercuric chloride fixation.


  1. Bring sections to water via xylene and ethanol.
  2. Stain nuclei with the acid resistant nuclear stain.
  3. Rinse well with tap water.
  4. Place into the staining solution for 2-5 minutes.
  5. Optionally, rinse quickly with distilled water.
  6. Dehydrate with ethanol.
  7. Clear with xylene and mount with a resinous medium.

Expected Results

  • Collagen – red
  • Cytoplasm – yellow
  • Nuclei – black


  • This method is often used to counterstain other primary staining methods. In that case the nuclear stain may not be necessary and should be ommitted.

Safety Note

Prior to handling any chemical, consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for proper handling and safety precautions.


  1. Gray, Peter. (1954)
    The Microtomist’s Formulary and Guide.
    Originally published by: The Blakiston Co.
    Republished by: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.
  2. Drury, R.A.B. and Wallington, E.A., (1980)
    Carleton’s histological technique Ed. 5
    Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  3. Culling C.F.A., (1974)
    Handbook of histopathological and histochemical techniques Ed. 3
    Butterworth, London, UK.