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Novel ‘half-and-half’ design of staining jars for comparative assessment of stains
  1. Sanpreet Singh Sachdev,
  2. Tabita Joy Chettiankandy
  1. Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sanpreet Singh Sachdev, Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India; sunpreetss{at}

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Summary box

What are the new findings

  • The novel design of half-and-half’ staining jars allows simultaneous staining of two halves of a slide with different stains. It would, therefore, minimise the time-dependent variation in the staining procedures by enabling both to be conducted synchronously.

  • Similarly, they allow a more easy comparison between two stains or staining procedures since the sections are on the same slide.

  • They also halve the number of slides needed in a comparative study. To some extent, they also aid in preserving the chemicals.

How might it impact on healthcare in the future

  • These qualities are extremely beneficial in developing countries in which researchers are unable to pursue research projects with large sample size.

  • The jars could possibly be set as a standard in future, particularly when comparative studies in histopathology are to be conducted.


At present, Coplin jars are used universally for histological staining. They are grooved glass jars which allow microscopic slides to stand separated while staining procedure. They were invented by William Coplin in 1897 and remain in use to date.1 Except for a few modifications such as use of plastic materials, or screw-capping to avoid evaporation or contamination, the design of Coplin jars has remained mostly unchanged.2

Many times, situations arise in histopathological laboratories wherein multiple special stains are to be applied on the tissue sections for histochemical confirmation of the nature of cells or material.3 The scenario is fairly common in researches that compare two or more histological stains.4 Certain study designs also revolve around comparing the effect of fixation or embedding on staining characteristics.5 Demonstrating suitability of histological stains in detecting microbes, pigments, or tissue elements such as muscle, cartilage, etc aids in making the diagnostic pathological procedures more accurate and efficient.

In such scenarios, the extent of materials such as microscopic slides, cover slips, staining dyes and other chemicals required for …

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  • Contributors SSS and TJC both have worked on the conceptualisation, designing and laboratory testing of the devices.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.