Product of the month: March
The Giemsa stain is, strictly speaking, a dye mixture consisting of the colored compounds Azure B, methylene blue, and eosin. Although often classified only as a nucleic acid stain, the Giemsa dye mix is capable of highlighting and distinguishing various cellular components:
While the basic dye methylene blue reliably stains acidic cell components (especially the nucleus), the acidic dyes azure B and eosin show affinity for the cytoplasm, cell granules, and other basic cell components. The staining of the cytoplasm thereby varies depending on the cell type, a characteristic known as metachromasia.
Applications for Giemsa staining are numerous; it is a standard diagnostic procedure for malaria and other blood parasites, is used in hematology (staining peripheral blood smears, bone marrow samples and other cytological materials) and cytogenetics (G-banding).