vital staining A technique in which a harmless dye is used to stain living tissue for microscopical observation. The stain may be injected into a living animal and the stained tissue removed and examined (intravital staining) or the living tissue may be removed directly and subsequently stained (supravital staining). Microscopic organisms, such as protozoa, may be completely immersed in the dye solution. Vital stains include trypan blue, vital red, and Janus green, the latter being especially suitable for observing mitochondria.
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