Colloidal Iron, Multi-Tissue

Controls Slides Histopathology Colloidal Iron Multi-Tissue

Validation Stain: Muller Mowry


Why use a Colloidal Iron Multi-Tissue Control Slide?

When a single control tissue containing a mucosubstance (small intestine) used in the colloidal iron stain produces negative results, what do those negative results mean?  Did the colloidal iron solution not react or did the potassium ferrocyanide (Prussian Blue solution) step cause the negative reaction?   Colloidal Iron Multi-Tissue Control Slides answers those questions. 

How does the Colloidal Multi-Tissue Control Slide work?

Small Intestine Tissue  acts as the Colloidal Iron Solution check.  When small intestine tissue exposed to a colloidal iron solution is in an acidic environment, ferric ions are absorbed by acid mucosubstances. 

Spleen Tissue  acts as the potassium ferrocyanide (Prussian Blue solution) check.  Spleen tissue contains a substantial amount of iron and stains in the presence of Prussian Blue.

What Colloidal Iron Multi-Tissue Control Slide results mean:

(+) Small Intestine / (+) Iron, Animal
Adhesive or Charged Slides: 
Superfrost +

Product Options:

Part # 4128A10/Set $68.00
Part # 4128B98/Set $475.00

Colloidal Iron, Multi-Tissue Control Slides contain sections of positive staining small intestine and positive iron staining animal spleen.



The enclosed positive control slides are intended to be used to verify histological techniques and reagent reactivity.  These slides are to be used for the qualitative purpose of determining positive or negative results, and are not intended to be used for any quantitative purpose.  The first serial section within the control box is stained and provided for your reference.  Before using the unstained slides, review the enclosed stained slide with your pathologist to ensure that this tissue source is acceptable.  Newcomer Supply will not accept a return with missing slides in the series. Newcomer Supply guarantees reactivity of these control slides for one year from the date of receipt.  Revalidate after one year to verify continued reactivity.  Store at 15-30°C in a light deprived and humidity controlled environment.

These positive control slides were produced from human surgical or autopsy tissues and animal tissues under carefully controlled conditions.  Reasonable measures are used to deliver quality control slides that are as consistent as possible.  However, characteristics of quality control slides may be dissimilar due to variations in the reagents, stains, techniques, laboratory conditions, and tissue sources used. Newcomer Supply Laboratory uses a manual method of performing quality control procedures, specifically avoiding automation, in order to provide reactive control slides for even less aggressive methods of staining that our customers may be using.


CONTROL SLIDE VALIDATION:                                                                                             

With Colloidal Iron, Müller-Mowry Stain Kit: Part 9110A Individual Stain Solution
Solution A: Acetic Acid 12%, Aqueous 1000 ml  
Solution B: Colloidal Iron Stock 125 ml Part 10365
Solution C: Acetic Acid, Glacial, ACS 50 ml Part 10010
Solution D: Potassium Ferrocyanide 2%, Aqueous 125 ml  
Solution E: Hydrochloric Acid 2%, Aqueous 125 ml   
Solution F: Van Gieson Stain 250 ml  Part 1404

For storage requirements and expiration date refer to individual product labels.    



Newcomer Supply Colloidal Iron, Multi-Tissue Control Slides, use a combination of tissue sources for the positive histochemical staining of acid epithelial mucins (sialomucin, sulfomucin) and stromal (mesenchymal) mucin in small intestine and ferric iron in spleen.



Fixation: Formalin 10%, Phosphate Buffered (Part 1090)

Technique:  Paraffin sections cut at 5 microns on Superfrost® Plus

Solutions:  All solutions are manufactured by Newcomer Supply, Inc.



  1. To avoid the possibility of residual background iron staining, acid clean glassware is recommended in the staining procedure.
    1. See Procedure Note #1.
  2. Prepare Colloidal Iron Working Solution; combine and mix well.
    1.   Solution B: Colloidal Iron Stock                          20 ml
    2.   Solution C: Acetic Acid, Glacial ACS                   5 ml
    3.   Distilled Water                                                    15 ml



  1. Deparaffinize sections thoroughly in three changes of xylene, 3 minutes each.  Hydrate through two changes each of 100% and 95% ethyl alcohols, 10 dips each.  Wash well with distilled water.
    1. See Procedure Notes #2 and #3.
  2. Place in Solution A: Acetic Acid 12%, Aqueous for 30 seconds.
  3. Drain Slides. Do not rinse.
  4. Place in Colloidal Iron Working Solution (Step #2) for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse in three changes of Solution A: Acetic Acid 12%, Aqueous; 3 minutes each.
  6. Prepare fresh Ferrocyanide-Hydrochloric Acid Solution directly before use; combine and mix well.
    1. Solution D: Potassium Ferrocyanide 2%, Aqueous  20 ml
    2. Solution E: Hydrochloric Acid 2%, Aqueous          20 ml
  7. Place in fresh Ferrocyanide-Hydrochloric Acid Solution for 15 minutes.
  8. Wash in running tap water for 1-5 minutes.
  9. Counterstain in Solution F: Van Gieson Stain for 3-5 minutes.
    1. Proceed directly to dehydration step without rinsing.
  10. Dehydrate in two changes of 100% ethyl alcohol. Clear in three changes of xylene, 10 dips each; coverslip with compatible mounting medium. 



Acid epithelial mucins Blue
Stromal mucin Blue
Ferric iron deposits Bright blue
Collagen Red
Muscle and cytoplasm Yellow



  1. Acid clean all glassware/plasticware (Part 12086) and rinse thoroughly in several changes of distilled water. Cleaning glassware with bleach is not equivalent to acid washing.
  2. Drain staining rack/slides after each step to prevent solution carry over.
  3. Do not allow sections to dry out at any point during staining procedure.
  4. Nuclear Fast Red Stain, Kernechtrot (Part 1255) can be used as an alternative counterstain.
  5. If using a xylene substitute, closely follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for deparaffinization and clearing steps.



  1. Bancroft, John D., and Marilyn Gamble. Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques. 6th ed. Oxford: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008. 175-176.
  2. Carson, Freida L., and Christa Hladik Cappellano. Histotechnology: A Self-instructional Text. 4th ed. Chicago: ASCP Press, 2015. 151-153.
  3. Rekhtman, Natasha, and Justin Bishop. Quick Reference Handbook for Surgical Pathologists. Berlin: Springer, 2011. 69.
  4. Modifications developed by Newcomer Supply Laboratory.