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Dead cell stains

Dead cell stains are membrane-impermeant dyes that are excluded by viable cells, but stain necrotic or late apoptotic cells with damaged plasma membranes. Many of our dead cell stains are fluorogenic nucleic acid dyes that only fluoresce when bound to DNA or RNA inside dead cells, eliminating the need to wash before detection. See our full selection of nuclear stains on our Cellular Stains Technology Page.

Most DNA binding dead-cell stains are not fixable, meaning that the dyes will diffuse from stained cells to unstained cells after fixation, resulting in lower signal and higher background. Our Live-or-Dye™ Fixable Viability Stains are membrane-impermeant reactive dyes that covalently label dead cells. While these stains require washing, the staining can withstand fixation and permeabilization for subsequent IF staining. They also are useful for excluding dead cells from flow cytometry analysis of cell surface staining. See our complete selection of Apoptosis & Viability Stains.