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CellBrite™ Cytoplasmic Membrane Stains

CellBrite cytoplasmic membrane stains are lipophilic carbocyanine dyes. These dyes undergo an increase in fluorescence when they insert into lipid bilayers. Lipophilic carbocyanine dyes stably label the plasma membrane and other intracellular membranes of cells. They also can be used to stain artificial lipid bilayers.

Lipophilic carbocyanine dyes have been used to stain neuronal cells in culture for several weeks, and in vivo for up to a year. The dyes do not appreciably affect cell viability, and do not readily transfer between cells with intact membranes, allowing cell migration and tracking studies in mixed populations. Stability of labeling may vary between cell types, depending on rates of membrane turnover or cell division.

Cells can be fixed with formaldehyde after labeling with CellBrite dyes. Lipophilic carbocyanine dyes like the CellBrite dyes have also been used to stain cells or tissues after formaldehyde fixation. Permeabilization of cells with detergents or solvents, or mounting medium containing glycerol may adversely affect staining. Permeabilization with digitonin (10 ug/mL to 1 mg/mL) has been reported to be compatible with lipophilic carbocyanine dye staining.

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