Anthropology, Department of


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Published in The Journal of Histotechnology, Vol. 28, No. 2, June 2005, pp. 73-79. Used by permission.


Increased definition of cement lines aids in the identification of secondary osteons in bone. A staining protocol taken from Burr (Anat Rec 232:180-189, 1991) and modified by Havill using toluidine blue on plastic-embedded bone specimens was applied to cranial core and femoral shaft sections but proved to be too time-consuming and inconsistent. Experimentation resulted in a different protocol for each bone type, perhaps as the result of differences in section thickness and cortical area. Staining of femoral sections proved particularly difficult, with increased etching duration and agitation proving most influential in intensity and uniformity of stain.

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