Cytopainter cell staining kits

Live cell staining dyes

Fluorescent dyes for staining live cells. Review dyes used for labeling subcellular organelles, live cell tracking, and live cell labeling.


Live cell staining of sub-cellular organelles

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Organelle visualization with organelle-selective stains or dyes is a key tool in fluorescence imaging of cells and tissues. These specific stains are suitable counterstains to antibodies to help the identification of location-specific targets of interest within the cell. Dyes for live cell staining of organelles are available in a broad spectrum of colors. 

Find out about dyes for specific organelles:​​

StructureDye InformationLive/fixed (cells or tissue)
ER stainingCell-permeable dye that localizes to endoplasmic reticula.Live/fixed (aldehyde)
Golgi stainingCell-permeable dye that localizes to Golgi.Live/fixed (aldehyde)
F-actin / actin filament stainingPhalloidin-conjugated dye that binds to actin filaments but not to actin monomers or dimers.Fixed (aldehyde)
Lysosomal stainingCell-permeable dye that accumulates in the lysosome via the lysosome pH gradient (pH 4.5 - 4.8).Live (can be fixed in aldehyde after staining)
Mitochondrial stainingCell-permeable dye that accumulates in the mitochondria via the mitochondrial membrane potential.Live (can be fixed in aldehyde after staining)
Also, see JC-1 and other mitochondrial membrane potential assay
Nucleolar stainingCell-permeable dye that accumulates in the nucleolus.Live
Plasma membrane stainingDye that accumulates in the plasma membraneLive


​​Actin filament staining (red, ab112127) in Hydractinia, a colonial marine hydroid. Nuclei are shown in blue (Hoechst) for counterstaining.

Image courtesy of an Abreview.

Live cell tracking

Analyze your cells of interest for hours or days with cell tracking dyes that are retained in living cells. These dyes are hydrophobic compounds that can permeate through the plasma membrane and become strongly fluorescent once inside the cell.​​​​​

Product RangeDescriptionBest used for
Live cell labelingNon-fluorescent dyes with a cell-retaining moiety. Upon entering cells, dye becomes fluorescent and trapped in the cells.Cell adhesion, cellular motility and cell viability studies. Cells need to be viewed in less than 2 hours.
Live cell trackingNon-fluorescent dyes with a cell-retaining moiety. Upon entering cells, dye becomes fluorescent and trapped in cells. Compatible with cell culture medium (no washing step).Multicolor analysis of cells for cell drug resistance, cell adhesion and chemotaxis. Cells need to be viewed in less than 24 - 48 hours as dye will not pass to daughter cells.
Cell proliferationNon-fluorescent dyes with a cell-retaining moiety. Upon entering cells, dye becomes fluorescent and trapped in cells.
​The adduct formed in labeled cells is inherited by daughter cells after cell division.
Analysis of heterogeneous cell populations over time. Fluorescence is preserved upon formaldehyde fixation. Dye is retained for up to 9 generations after staining.
Fixable cell viabilityImpermeable live-cell dyes that only enter cells with compromised membranes. Viable cells show low fluorescence while non-viable cells show intense staining.Cell viability evaluation in a multiplex experiment. Fluorescence is preserved upon formaldehyde fixation.


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