A solution of 75% ethyl alcohol (ETOH) and alizarin red S can be substituted for KOH-alizarin red S to stain bone. ETOH-alizarin, unlike KOH-alizarin, does not damage muscle or cartilage. ETOH-alizarin and acidified alcian blue (a cartilage stain) can be used in any order and as often as required to stain bone and cartilage in a single preparation that has not been exposed to KOH-alizarin or trypsin, remembering that the acidic effects of the alcian blue solution should be neutralized to prevent decalcification of weakly ossified elements.

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