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It is a redox and adsorption indicator. Employed as a biological stain used in histology, cytology, bacteriology. It is commonly used as a counter stain for gram-negative bacteria in the Gram stain procedure. It has been observed to bind to DNA at a pH 2.21. In the Flemming triple stain procedure it is used to stain for chromosomes. In late Paleozoic pteridosperm cuticles it has shown increased contrast, emphasized cutinization differences, and enhanced the three-dimensional morphology of complex epidermal features when compared with other dyes. The compound has also been used with alcian blue in the histochemical study of the distribution and morphometric characteristics of mast cells. It has also been used to detect mucin and cartilage.
Krings M. The use of biological stains in the analysis of late Paleozoic pteridosperm cuticles.Rev Palaeobot Palynol.2000108(3-4), 143-150.
Rosenberg L. Chemical basis for the histological use of safranin O in the study of articular cartilage.J Bone Joint Surg Am.197153(1), 69-82.
Hazard Statements: H315-H318
Causes skin irritation. Causes serious eye damage.
Precautionary Statements: P264b-P280-P302+P352-P305+P351+P338-P310-P332+P313-P362
Wash face, hands and any exposed skin thoroughly after handling Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection. IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician. If skin irritation occurs: Get medical advice/attention. Take off contaminated clothing and wash before reuse.