Alcian blue staining method for visualizing bonghan ducts inside blood vessels of mice

Jung Sun Yoo, Min Su Kim, Vyacheslav Ogay, Kwang Sup Soh

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In modern anatomy, there are no threadlike structures floating inside blood vessels without adhering to the vessel wall. However recently we found novel threadlike tissues that are called intravascular Bonghan ducts (IBHD) inside blood vessels of mice using Alcian blue (AB) staining method. These novel structures were introduced in Bonghan theory as a part of meridian system in 1960’s. For in vivo imaging of IBHD, AB solution (pH 7.4) that can easily stain mucopolysaccharides like hyaluronic acid was used. After injecting AB solution into the femoral vein of a mouse we found the threadlike structures stained deep blue inside inferior vena cava. Using this method, we got the anatomical data such as diameter of threadlike structures. Also we report on the histological results such as hematoxylin, eosin and AB staining to show the composition of cells and extracellular matrix in the IBHD. Further studies are needed to develop specific imaging method of IBHD and to investigate their physiological functions especially in relation with other circulatory systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3626-3629
Number of pages4
JournalIFMBE Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event10th World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, WC 2006 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 27 Aug 20061 Sep 2006


  • Acupuncture meridian
  • Alcian blue
  • Bonghan duct
  • Hematoxylin and eosin
  • Hyaluronic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering


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