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Special Stains - Van Gieson

  • Connective tissue - Collagen and Muscle
  • Van gieson Technique

Van gieson is a Connective tissue stain to differentiate collagen by using dyes of different molecular size. This special stain is used for staining muscle and collagen fibres.  This uses two dyes, acid fuschin and picric acid.  The nuclear stain used is haematoxylin after being through celestein blue.  This produces a darker black colour than haematoxylin alone.  The acid dyes used stains collagen red and muscle yellow in the tissue.


1.    Take sections to water.

2.     Stain using Celestin blue / haematoxylin sequence.

3.     Wash in water.

4.     Differentiate in 1% acid alcohol if necessary.

5.     Wash in water.  Blue Lithium Carbonate

6.     Stain in Van Gieson's solution for 3 minutes.

7.     Blot

8.     Dehydrate, clear and mount.


Nuclei -                                               Blue / Black

Collagen -                                          Red

Cytoplasm, Muscle, RBCs-              Yellow

Some bile pigments -                       Green

Photo - x10 Van gieson

Van gieson in Liver