A review of curcumin as a biological stain and as a self-visualizing pharmaceutical agent

Hope-Roberts, M. and Horobin, R.W. (2017) A review of curcumin as a biological stain and as a self-visualizing pharmaceutical agent. Biotechnic and Histochemistry, 92(5), pp. 315-323. (doi: 10.1080/10520295.2017.1310925) (PMID:28506128)

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Curcumin has been widely used to color textiles but, unlike other natural dyes such as hematoxylin or saffron, it rarely has been discussed as a biological stain. Aspects of the physicochemistry of curcumin relevant to biological staining and self-visualization, i.e., its acidic properties, lipophilicity, metal and pseudometal complexes, and optical properties, are summarized briefly here. Reports of staining of non-living biological specimens in sections and smears, both fixed and unfixed, including specimens embedded in resin, are summarized here. Staining of amyloid, boron and chromatin are outlined and possible reaction mechanisms discussed. Use of curcumin as a vital stain also is described, both in cultured monolayers and in whole organisms. Staining mechanisms are considered especially for the selective uptake of curcumin into cancer cells. Staining with curcumin labeled nanoparticles is discussed. Toxicity and safety issues associated with the dye also are presented.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Horobin, Dr Richard
Authors: Hope-Roberts, M., and Horobin, R.W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Biotechnic and Histochemistry
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1473-7760
Published Online:16 May 2017

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