Cleared and Stained

Cleared and Stained

A chemical process known as clearing and staining reveals the skeletal anatomy (bones and cartilage) of an animal. The process helps scientists compare different species, determine evolutionary relationships and study developmental stages.

A digestive enzyme called Trypsin is used to remove all tissue except for transparent connective tissue. Two dyes are added. Alcian blue colors the cartilage and Alizarin red dyes the bone. Cleared and stained specimens are fragile and are stored suspended in glycerin.

Cleared and Stained

Cleared and Stained

Cleared and Stained

Cleared and Stained

Cleared and Stained