Special Stains



Because manual staining is much more time-consuming than automated staining and is less consistent, automated stainers are widely used in most anatomic pathology labs today. Special stains range from the Acid-Fast Bacteria Stain to the Warthin-Starry Stain, with new ones being added all the time. Chemicals required for special stains can be a health hazard for lab staff as well as an environmental hazard.

Automated special stainers are capable of staining many slides at a time, running many different stains simultaneously, and operating overnight, thus optimizing workflow and maximizing lab efficiency.

In addition to staining, other functions performed by certain special stainers are onboard drying of slides, deparaffinization (clearing) that enables a total start to finish of the staining process, and reagent barcoding, enabling the tracking of reagent usage and expiration dates.

Special stainers usually consist of a slide processor, computer system, a report printer and a slide label printer.

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