Elastic Fiber Stain

Elastic Fiber Stain (Victoria Blue Method)

Elastic Fiber Stain (Victoria Blue Method)

  • Specifications: 4x20mL, 4x100mL (Box)
  • Intended use: Used for tissue cytological staining to qualitatively detect elastic fibers in tissue sections
  • Store temperature: 5℃~30℃


The Victoria Blue Method, also known as the Elastic Fiber Stain, is a widely used technique in histology and pathology to visualize elastic fibers within tissue samples. This staining method provides valuable insights into the distribution and morphology of elastic fibers, aiding in the understanding of various physiological and pathological conditions. In this blog post, we will delve into the principle behind the Victoria Blue Method, its main components, sample requirements, test procedure, result interpretation, and precautions for accurate and successful elastic fiber staining.

Principle of Elastic Fiber Staining

While the exact mechanism behind the Victoria Blue Method remains uncertain, the staining process is founded on the hypothesis that a hydrogen bond forms between specific regions of elastic fibers and the phenolic group of resorcinol present in the Elastin Stain. This interaction results in the elastic fibers acquiring a distinct blue-black hue. To enhance contrast, Van Gieson (VG) stain is employed.

Main Components of the Staining Solution

The Victoria Blue Method utilizes a combination of reagents, each serving a specific purpose in the staining process:

  • Potassium Permanganate Solution: Contains potassium permanganate, used for initial oxidation.
  • Oxalic Acid Solution: Contains oxalic acid, responsible for bleaching the tissue.
  • Elastin Stain: Comprises Victoria blue and resorcinol, facilitating the blue-black staining of elastic fibers.
  • Van Gieson Stain: Contains acid fuchsin and picric acid for counterstaining.

Sample Requirements

For successful elastic fiber staining, the tissue section under examination must be adequately fixed, ensuring the preservation of tissue architecture and elastic fiber integrity.

Test Procedure

Follow these steps to perform the Victoria Blue Method:

  • Dewax the tissue slices and wash them with distilled water.
  • Oxidize the tissue with potassium permanganate solution for 5 minutes and rinse.
  • Bleach the tissue with oxalic acid solution for 2-3 minutes and rinse.
  • Stain the tissue with Elastin stain for 8-24 hours, avoiding volatile dye and ensuring complete coverage.
  • If needed, differentiate the tissue using 95% ethanol or 1% hydrochloric acid alcohol under microscope control.
  • Thoroughly rinse the tissue with water.
  • Counterstain with Van Gieson stain for 1 minute (without washing).
  • Swiftly differentiate in 95% ethanol for several seconds.
  • Perform standard dehydration and transparency steps, sealing the sample with neutral resin.

Result Interpretation

Upon successful staining, elastic fibers will appear blue-black, facilitating their differentiation from other tissue components. Collagen fibers will exhibit a red hue, while muscle fibers and erythrocytes will appear yellow.

Precautions for Accurate Staining

To ensure accurate and reliable results, adhere to the following precautions:

  • Differentiate tissue directly in 95% ethanol after Elastin staining to prevent difficulties in differentiation.
  • Handle Elastin stain with care due to its volatility and extended staining time.
  • Avoid rinsing in water after Van Gieson staining to preserve the color intensity.
  • Store unsealed Elastin stain in a cool, dark, airtight container for reuse until solution efficacy diminishes.
  • Accelerate staining using a capped 37°C water bath, but closely monitor staining depth.
  • Utilize this method under professional guidance, following instructions, and practicing personal hygiene.
  • Dispose of waste per hospital or environmental protection regulations.
  • Refer to packaging for production details and expiration dates.


For further insights into the Victoria Blue Method, consult the following sources:

  • Medicinal Association of China. Pathology Volumes – Clinical Technical Operating Specifications.
  • Qibo Ling. Histochemistry and Special Staining in Practical Pathology.


The Victoria Blue Method, with its unique staining process, provides valuable information about elastic fibers within tissue samples. Understanding the principle, components, procedure, interpretation, and precautions of this method is crucial for accurate results and informed research in the fields of histology and pathology.

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