Our Goals & Mission

The objectives of the Biological Stain Commission (BSC) are:

  • To ensure the quality of dyes through independent testing according to appropriately rigorous chemical and performance criteria.
  • To promote cooperation and dialogue among manufacturers, vendors and users of dyes for histochemical applications.
  • To educate users of biological stains about sources of reliable dyes and how they might best be used.
  • To publish information concerning new or improved uses for biological staining with dyes and related histochemical techniques.

These objectives are met by:

  • Analysis in the Commission’s laboratory of dye content and composition of samples supplied voluntarily by dye manufacturers or vendors. Only solid products (powders) are tested.
  • Testing performance of dye samples in rigorous standardized procedures known to be discerning tests of the staining quality of the dye. A certificate is issued for each batch of a dye that passes the tests. The Commission keeps records of all its certifications and tracks the fates of dye batches that are subsequently split and sold to different vendors.
  • Provision of a certificate for each batch of dye that meets the Commission’s standards. Certification labels are also issued. to be attached to the containers used by companies marketing accepted dyes, to assure consumers that these dyes are from batches that have met the performance criteria of the Biological Stain Commission.
  • Correspondence and annual meetings, maintaining active dialogue among scientists, manufacturers and vendors concerned with biological stains.
  • This website, regularly updated, with information and news in the field of biological staining.
  • Conducting and supporting research on dyes used for biological staining and in histochemical techniques.
  • Publishing books concerning biological dyes and histochemical techniques, and publishing Biotechnic & Histochemistry, a journal of microtechnique and histochemistry that has 8 online issues per year. Membership in the BSC provides online access to the journal.