Staining ground sections of natural dry bone tissue for microscopy
Article first published online: 8 OCT 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Volume 22, Issue 4, pages 379–386, July/August 2012
How to Cite
de Boer, H. H., Aarents, M. J. and Maat, G. J. R. (2012), Staining ground sections of natural dry bone tissue for microscopy. Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., 22: 379–386. doi: 10.1002/oa.1208
- Issue published online: 7 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 8 OCT 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 19 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Received: 15 DEC 2009
The histological staining of bone tissue is of great value in identifying structural changes in human bone tissue when examined microscopically, and is therefore routinely used by clinical pathologists. However, for archaeological and other types of undecalcified dry bone tissue, histochemical staining is currently not widely used. The purpose of this paper is to describe a new method developed for the staining of undecalcified archaeological bone which may be a valuable addition to the palaeopathological toolkit. Sections were ground by hand and stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The microstructure and architecture of the stained sections become clearly visible without compromising total tissue envisioning. In addition, staining enhances differentiation between taphonomically affected and non-affected bone tissue. This paper accordingly describes a reproducible stepwise method for the production of ground stained sections. An additional troubleshooting paragraph discusses the most often encountered problems and provides solutions. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.