Using Tissue Marking Dyes to Highlight Microscopic Areas

Tissue Marking Dyes Instructions for Use Product Numbers 27213, 27213-1, 27213-2, 27213-3, 27213-4, 27213-5


In histopathology dyes are often used on tissues to denote areas that may be of interest under further microscopic attention and to orient excised tissue samples sent to the lab. In order to prevent running, bleeding, fading or change in color intensity, the dyes are specially formulated. This formulation must also remain visible after performing frozen section and tissue processing.

Application/Intended Use

Tissue marking dyes are used on fresh or fixed tissues to identify and orient excised samples. They must also be able to withstand the rigors of tissue processing without bleeding, changing colors, or fading.

Mode of Action

Tissue marking dyes have cationic (positively) charged properties, these are attracted to the negatively charged, anionic tissue components resulting in strong ionic bonds. Once attached, these bonds are then resistant to the exposure of tissue processing chemicals and other factors.

Some tissue components are amphoteric (neutrally charged) and will simply take up the dye by adsorption.


The Tissue Marking Dyes are ready to use, straight out of the bottle. Simply shake the bottle well before use.

  1. Fresh tissue should be patted dry.
  2. Fixed tissues should be blotted to remove residual fixative solutions.
  3. Apply dye color choice directly to the chosen portion of the tissue. Avoid applying the marking dye in excess to prevent bleeding of the dye into other areas of the tissue.
  4. Dyes will bind permanently to the surface of the specimen in 2-3 minutes at room temperature.
  5. After use, snap the lid closed and store at room temperature.


Storage: Room Temperature (15C - 30C)

None of these dyes should ever be applied to a living person, and should only be applied to tissues which have been removed. If these pigments come into contact with living tissue they may cause permanent coloration.

Ancillary Products

ColorBond™ Tissue Marking Dye Mordant - #27208

Technical Notes

ColorBond™ Tissue Marking Dye Mordant is recommended as it is acetic, and will change the neutral (amphoteric) sites on the tissue to negative (anionic). This will significantly improve the dye adherence and bonding to amphoteric tissue components (especially fatty tissues).

ted pella

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Ted Pella, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit Ted Pella, Inc.


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