Dictionary > Neutral dye

Neutral dye

Definition
noun, plural: neutral dyes
(biological techniques) A compound of an acid dye and a basic dye used in staining biological specimens for microscopic viewing
Supplement
Biological staining is essential in order to view specimens clearly under the microscope. Specimens that are unstained would typically be colorless. That is why dyes are applied to aid in the viewing of microscopic structures such as tissues, cells, and certain cellular components (e.g. nucleus, cell wall, cell membrane, chloroplasts, etc.). Dyes may be natural or synthetic. Natural dyes are those found in and derived from nature such as haematoxylin from the heartwood of the Haematoxylum tree, and carmine from the female cochineal bug. Synthetic dyes are those made from hydrocarbon benzene and with chromophore and auxochrome components. The auxochrome determines whether the dye would be an acid or a base. Neutral dyes are produced by combining basic and acid dyes. Since the base dye stains the nuclei whereas the acid dye stains the cytoplasm a neutral dye would therefore stain both the nuclei and the cytoplasm.1 Eosinate of methylene blue and Giesma stain are examples of a neutral dye.
Synonym(s):

  • salt dye
  • neutral stain

Compare:

  • acid dye
  • basic dye
  • See also:

    Reference(s):

    1 Baker, F., Silverton, R. & Luckcock, E. (1957). An Introduction to Medical Laboratory Technology. London: Butterworths.


    You will also like...

    Community Patterns

    Learn about community patterns and the ecological factors influencing these patterns. Revisit some of the ecosystems you..

    Growth and Plant Hormones
    Growth and Plant Hormones

    Plants, like animals, produce hormones to regulate plant activities, including growth. They need these hormones to respo..

    Plant meristem
    Plant Meristems and Growth

    In plants, growth occurs in meristems, which are the site of repeated cell division of unspecialized cells. These cells ..

    Transpiration
    Water in Plants

    The movement of molecules (specifically, water and solutes) is vital to the understanding of plant processes. This tuto..

    Fossil trilobite imprint in the sediment
    Insects

    There are more species of insects than any other species combined. This surely illustrates that insects have the selecti..

    Sugar Homeostasis
    Sugar Homeostasis

    The blood sugar level is regulated by two hormones. The mechanism behind this type of negative feedback control is descr..