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What membrane/ cell surface stains are compatible with tissue clearing agents such as Visikol® HISTO™?

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The lipophilic CellBrite® dyes would not be suitable for solvent-cleared samples as membrane lipids would be extracted during the solvent treatment step. The reactive membrane dyes, CellBrite® fix and MemBrite® too would not work as these are live cell stains, and in dead/ fixed samples, they would stain all accessible targets resulting in whole cell staining.

However, if staining of live cells is possible, the reactive CellBrite® fix and MemBrite® fix membrane dyes may be used before fixation and solvent-clearing, but these dyes may not penetrate multilayer cells or tissues effectively.

Staining using CF® Dye WGA Conjugates may be an option, but staining can be cell- and tissue-type dependent i.e. it is based on the expression pattern of glycoproteins on the cell membranes. You may verify is WGA staining is an option for your cell or tissue type based on published literature. It is also important to note that if tissue sections are used, the lectins would stain glycoproteins on all cell membranes, external (plasma membrane) as well as internal (organelle membranes).

Alternatively, immunostaining using cell surface-specific antibodies could be used.

To find the right dye for your workflow, check out the links below:

Tech Tip: Cell Surface Stains for Live & Fixed Cells

Comparison of Membrane & Cell Surface Stains

Or download our Membrane & Surface Stains Brochure.


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