Vital staining refers to staining methods carried out on living animals or living cells. Intravital staining means staining is performed on a living object. Supravital staining is a method which is used on cells with limited vitality or tissue which has been removed from an animal.
The stain is usually applied by injection (intravenous, intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, or subdural) for live staining or by feeding (oral or enteral with a pharangeal tube). Supravital staining is carried out on organs or cells which have been kept alive and immersed in or perfused with a staining solution.
The available vital stains consist of:
Vital staining with Trypan blue
The dye is injected subcutaneously or intraperitoneally in vivo and stored by phagocytizing cells. It is also deposited where it is reabsorbed (like in the tubuli contorti of the kidneys).
Vital staining with India ink
Phagocytizing cells (like macrophages) can be selectively stained when they take up injected particles of India ink. Hollow spaces, like vessels and glandular ducts, can be demonstrated with this method.
Supravital staining with brilliant Cresyl blue
This dye is known for demonstrating the substantia granulofilamentosa of reticulocytes. Fresh blood smears are incubated with the basic vital dye, brilliant cresyl blue. After a few minutes a fine, granular or a filiform structure appears in some relatively large erythrocytes. These precipitations are primarily RNS artifacts.
|nuclear fast red||Depending on the dye solution, nuclear fast red can be used to stain the nucleus or plasma
Result: Either nuclei or cell plasma turn red.