Fullmer & Lillie's
Orcinol-New Fuchsin for Elastic Fibres


Weigert's iron hematoxylin or equivalent
Van Gieson's picro-fuchsin
Orcinol-New Fuchsin solution
New fuchsin 2 g
Orcinol 4 g
Ferric chloride, 30% aqu. 50 mL
Distilled water 200 mL
Ethanol 95% 100 mL
Add the dye and orcinol to the water in an oversize flask. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the ferric chloride. Boil for a further 5 minutes. Cool and filter. Dry the filter paper and beaker. Place the precipitate and filter paper back into the flask. Add the ethanol and heat carefully until the precipitate dissolves. Restore to 100 mL with 95% ethanol.

Tissue sample
5µ paraffin sections of neutral buffered formalin fixed tissue are suitable.
Other fixatives are likely to be satisfactory.


  1. Bring sections to water via xylene and ethanol.
  2. Place into orcinol-new fuchsin solution for 15 minutes at 37°C.
  3. Wash with 3 changes of 70% ethanol for 5 minutes each.
  4. Counterstain with iron hematoxylin and van Gieson.
  5. Dehydrate with ethanol, clear with xylene and mount with a resinous medium.

Expected results


  1. Fullmer and Lillie specified 25mL USP IX Liquor Ferri Chloridi, or a solution of 15.5g ferric chloride (FeCl3.6H2O) made up to 25 mL with water, i.e. 25mL of a 62% solution. In either case, it should be fresh.


Fullmer, H M and Lillie, R D,, (1956).
A selective stain for elastic tissue (orcinol-new fuchsin).,
Stain Technologyl, v 31, page 27-29.

Lillie, R D and Fullmer, H M, (1976).
Histopathological technic and practical histochemistry, Ed. 4. pp. 714.
McGraw-Hill, New York, USA.




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