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Eosin is acidic in nature. Hematoxylin is basic in nature. What I have learnt about H and E staining is that the nucleus is blue in colour because it is acidic and takes up the basic dye, Hematoxylin. But I don’t understand why collagen and the cytoplasm appear pink? Is it because they are basic? Is collagen a basic protein which takes up eosin and appears pink? Is cytoplasm basic in nature? What am I missing?

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Eosin generally stains anything with protein, and that includes the cytoplasm (full of dissolved protein) and collagen (made of protein). It is also very nonspecific. If you take a section or even live tissue/cells and put in eosin, almost everything will label to some extent. When making H&E slides, they wash after staining to remove the less tightly bound dye, but even then almost all structures are labeled to some extent, with basic ones simply being brighter.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hey Thanks a lot. $\endgroup$
    – Dr Tenma
    Oct 6, 2023 at 19:04

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