Eco-Friendly Staining Methods for the Macroscopic Examination of Brain Neuroanatomy on Preserved Sheep Specimen

There is little published on non-toxic differential staining of grey or white matter of already preserved brain.  We wanted to increase visibility of subcortical structures during dissection, and eliminate exposure to toxins.  Slices (of 5 mm) were submerged in solutions and judged on vibrancy and contrast of the color, and time it took for the specimen to achieve optimal color.  Food coloring and red wine appear to be the best tested so far, some other staining substances included: bloodroot, beet juice, madder, teas, red cabbage, turmeric, etc. were also tried. Alum was used as a mordant in order to aid the penetrance while water, vinegar, and alcohol, were used as rinses or a type of clearing agent in order to achieve maximum differentiation. The combination we judged to be the best thus far has been a diluted alcohol presoak with a pinot noir/alum solution and an alcohol post soak.

Session Speaker(s)

Session Time and Location

4:00pm to 5:30pm

Presentation Format


Session Track

Teaching and Learning Presentations

Conference Year

SETOP 2017