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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Routine H&E Staining. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Commonly used Hematoxylins: Their Oxidizers and Mordants

Alum Hematoxylins:

Hematoxylin Oxidizer Mordant
Gill's Sodium iodate Aluminum sulfate
Delafield's Naturally Ammonium alum
Mayer's Sodium iodate Potassium or ammonium alum
Harris's Sodium or potassium iodate (mercuric chloride no longer used due to its' toxicity) Potassium alum
Ehrlich's Naturally Potassium alum

Iron Hematoxylins:

Iron salts are used as both the oxidizing agent and the mordant in the following examples:

Hematoxylin Oxidizer Mordant
Heidenhain's Ferric ammonium sulfate Ferric ammonium sulfate
Weigert's Ferric chloride Ferric chloride