The properties of aminoalkylsilane-treated glass slides for the preparation of metaphase spreads and their staining quality have been studied and compared with those of slides which had only been cleaned in ethanol/ether. The parameters investigated were: (1) the average area of metaphases from cultures of blood from both healthy donors and haematology patients; (2) the influence of the positively charged 'coating' on the quality of quinacrine- and Giemsa-banding patterns; (3) non-specific background staining for these banding methods; (4) the number of metaphases as compared to the number of interphase cell nuclei per area of preparation; and (5) the Feulgen-staining intensities of chromosomes and chicken erythrocyte nuclei. The quality of metaphase preparations and the differential staining of chromosomes is better on aminoalkysilane-treated glass slides than that of preparations on routinely cleaned normal microscope slides. In the preparations on aminoalkylsilane-treated slides, the distribution of the cells over the glass surface is more homogeneous; and no influence could be detected on the relative frequency of metaphases as compared to the number of non-divided cell nuclei; the average area per metaphase is increased by about 10% and consequently the number of overlapping chromosomes is decreased. Preparations on aminoalkylsilane-treated glass, after Q-, G- and DAPI-banding procedures, always showed less binding of the staining compounds to the glass slide (a cleaner background) than those on routinely cleaned microscope glass slides. The Feulgen-pararosaniline staining intensities of human metaphase chromosomes and chicken erythrocyte nuclei are the same on aminoalkylsilane-treated slides and on routinely cleaned glass slides. Furthermore, the reproducibility and constancy of quinacrine banding was improved by development of an equilibrium staining method which does not require a washing procedure. The medium, containing 0.002% quinacrine, allows optimal staining results to be obtained for microphotography purposes within 30 min of staining (for visual inspection at least 90 min is required) and is used as the embedding medium. In combination with aminoalkylsilane-treated glass slides, this procedure leads to a clean background and reproducible banding patterns of excellent quality, the results being better and more constant than those of methods described before.