Talk:Alcian blue stain

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How do you say Alcian ? does it sound like "Alshian" or "Alkian"?--Alnokta (talk) 18:46, 25 July 2008 (UTC)


I recommend moving the blurb about the band with the same name into a "redirect" or "did you mean" section instead of where it is now. Kehrbykid (talk) 21:57, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. Contents from the Alcian blue is now moved here to this staining entry, with this page redirected here and a link to the did you mean the Alcian Blue (band). To answer the question above, the sound is like Alshian not Alkian as far as I know (it also is consistent with the history of the name supposedly coming from Phthallocyanine. --Dr.saptarshi (talk) 18:00, 9 July 2012 (UTC)


Can somebody who is more conversant with the chemistry equation writing tools help with writing the synthesis of Alcian blue described here? And please help cleaning up the reference display as well? (I am out of touch with the tools) The same author describes the synthesis in a bit more words elsewhere where he also speculates why its synthesis stopped.

J. E. Scotl. Alcian blue. Now you see it, now you don V, Eur J Oral Sci 1996: 104: 2-9:
"In the crucial letter from ICI in 1973 they in-formed me that manufacture of AB had just ceased! The reasons were not divulged as far as I know, but it was likely to have been due, at least in part, to problems of manufacture. Probably the introduction of the solubilising groups was a two-stage process in which chloromethyl groups were introduced into the copper phthalocyanin, followed by reaction with tetramethyl thiourea to give tetramethyl isothiouro-nium chlorides. Chloiomethylation seems to have depended on the reaction of sym dichloro, dimethyl ether in molten aluminium trichloride. This ether is a potent lung carcinogen which boils at about 12°C.Production of Alcian Yellow, which depends on similar reactions but is otherwise completely unrelated, ceased at the same time."

--Dr.saptarshi (talk) 16:40, 18 July 2012 (UTC)


This article can be a good DYK material for several items. eg:

  1. Paradoxic lack of Metachromasia can be a great DYK purely out of its scientific charm. I have made it sound logical in hindsight. but its actual discovery described here was not so straightforward.
  2. The Etymology of Alcian from Halcyon (most dictionaries make a different guess as if it is from Phthalocyanine) as commented by Scott.
  3. Perhaps we need to add a bit more of this fascinating history: JE scott states (in the same reference ie J. E. Scotl. Alcian blue. Now you see it, now you don V, Eur J Oral Sci 1996: 104: 2-9):
"history and chemistry of the copper pthalocyanin-based Alcian blue dyes highlights the adverse effects of commereial secrecy and entrepreneurial dis-honesty on the use of these valuable histochemieal and biochemical reagents in theb iological sciences... development and standardisation of the reagent were hindered by industrial secrecy. Enquiries were met with a courteous refusal and a free sample of AB. I spent about 3 man-years elucidating the chemistry and properties of compounds which were well known to hundreds of people, including those in large research institutes run by ICI's com-petitors. Only biologists and medical scientists were in the dark. Histologists are a minuscule and inex-pert market. Anyone could claim to supply so-called AB and some samples were appalling rubbish. Oth-ers were diluted with salts and yet others contained blue dyes of unknown composition.... It seems unlikely that the manufac-turing process has been reactivated, unless in places where safety regulations are less stringent. It is probable that we are running on old stocks of AB, or perhaps AB made from old stocks of precursor. Whatever the source, I emphatically state that none of the products sent to me for appraisal in the past 10 yr met the standards we published (4) for good AB. Many samples were poorly soluble in MgCl2 solutions or even in water. One, labelled AB 8G from an American supplier, was 5G, which contains a second, violet dye... Many suppliers did not have good material to begin with, and they dispense it with minimum care...
It is frustrating to be unable to reproduce one's own or one's colleagues findings, but it is worse when suppliers of crucial reagents follow policies of couldn't-care-less, and caveat emptor which directly lead to disaster in the lab. I know of research programmes that were halted because experiments did not yield the data expected in good faith. Money, resources and careers have been wasted in this way."

--Dr.saptarshi (talk) 17:14, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

CAS number[edit]

There seems to be too many cas numbers for AB on the net. Are they all correct? Which one to use? --Dr.saptarshi (talk) 18:37, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

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