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Biotech Histochem. 2010 Feb;85(1):65-82. doi: 10.3109/10520290903048418.

Hematoxylin and related compounds--an annotated bibliography concerning their origin, properties, chemistry, and certain applications.

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This bibliography covers the historical aspects of hematoxylin and its close relative brazilin from their origin in dyewoods to their recently understood chemical reactions and properties. Until the end of the 19th century, dyewoods such as logwood were among the most commercially important natural dyes and investigations over a long period of time led to an extensive literature. The ready oxidation of hematoxylin to hematein, which subsequently can be complexed with metal ions or undergo reactions with acid to give isohematein, has provided a wealth of work for the organic chemist. The elucidation of the structure and subsequent synthesis of hematoxylin has proved to be a major incentive to chemists to discover novel chemical reagents for many years.

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