A Useful Glossary of Terms for Histotechnologists from the Biological Stain Commission (BSC) and a Bit of BSC History
Do you need a term related to your staining procedure defined? The name of a dye? A staining method? A reagent used in your laboratory? A definition of any particular word related to histotechniques? The Biological Stain Commission has an A Glossary of Staining Methods, Reagents, Immunohistochemistry, Terminology and Eponyms written by three experts on dyes, stains, and reagents, Drs. John Kiernan, Richard W. Dapson and Richard W. Horobin. This glossary is free and found on the Biological Stain Commission website Glossary of Staining Methods, Reagents, Immunostaining and Eponyms (biologicalstaincommission.org) under the title, Biological Stain Commission (2021) Glossary of Staining Methods, Reagents, Immunostaining, Terminology and Eponyms, Version 2.0. Please note spelling is British (UK) rather than Americanized English. The glossary authors ask users to contribute feedback if note mistakes are found and/or suggest new terms be added or revised. Use the link on this glossary webpage above for Questions and Constructive Criticisms, then type a message in Comments. This glossary can be used to teach students in histotechnology schools or simply broaden your vocabulary. Some histotechnology textbooks have glossaries, but this is not always the case.
When writing a manuscript for the Journal of Histotechnology or other journals and accessing a term from this glossary, it should be cited as follows: Biological Stain Commission (2021) Glossary of Staining Methods, Reagents, Immunostaining, Terminology and Eponyms, Version 2.0. https://staincommission.org/bscglossary.html (Accessed June 16, 2021). Note that citations must be done according to Instructions for Authors per any journal publisher.
The Biological Stain Commission is important to NSH members since the majority of dyes to stain tissue commonly used are “BSC Certified,” which means dyes undergo rigorous chemical analysis to ensure the highest staining quality. If you doubt your dry dyes are BSC certified, vials containing dye powders will have a BSC label to indicate testing/certification. You can learn more about this process under Certified Biological Dyes and Stains on the BSC website. The BSC has been around since the early 1920s and has a long, interesting history and mission. One can read more about the BSC and find the latest certified dyes on their website Biological Stain Commission. The NSH appoints a representative to interact with the BSC since the two societies are closely linked by their common interest – biological dyes used to stain tissues and cells. Some will remember the original BSC journal, Stain Technology, where many original, classical staining protocols are published and still used today. Stain Technology was renamed Biotechnic and Histochemistry, and complete archives for all Stain Technology from the 1920’s to the present now as Biotechnic and Histochemistry. I invite everyone to enjoy using the glossary and also learn more about the BSC.
Gayle M. Callis, BSC representative for NSH