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Biotium offers a wide-selection of assay kits for cell viability and cell death for microplate reader, flow cytometry, or fluorescence microscopy. Jump to a section below to learn more:


Absorbance-based cell quantitation assays

MTT, XTT, and resazurin are reduced by active mitochondria to yield colored products, and thus are useful for assaying cell viability and quantitating cell number. MTT and XTT are reduced to colored formazin salts that can be measured by absorbance. Resazurin is reduced to form resorufin, which can be measured by either absorbance or fluorescence. These are easy-to-use homogeneous assays, but they have the disadvantage of requiring several hours for development. In addition, drugs or compounds with redox activity, like antioxidants, can interfere with the assays by directly affecting substrate reduction. MTT assay requires cell lysis before the absorbance can be measured. XTT and resazurin do not require cell lysis, allowing measurements to be made at multiple timepoints.

Absorbance Assays

  • Quantitate cells based on their metabolic activity
  • Simple, homogeneous assays
  • Usually require several hours development time
  • Compounds like antioxidants can interfere with assays

Fluorescence-based cell quantitation assays

Fluorescence-based assays generally have higher sensitivity and faster assay times compared to absorbance-based assays. Resazurin (equivalent to alamarBlue® or CellTiter-Blue®) is a non-fluorescent blue dye that is reduced by mitochondrial metabolic activity to form pink fluorescent resorufin. It can be measured by fluorescence or absorbance, and does not require cell lysis, allowing multiple measurements to be made over time.

Calcein-AM is a non-fluorescent cell-permeable ester that can passively enter cells. In viable cells, it is hydrolyzed by esterases in the cytoplasm to release the green fluorescent dye calcein. Calcein itself is membrane-impermeant and is only retained in viable cells with intact plasma membranes, so it is a true endpoint assay for cell viability.

Fluorescence Assays

  • Fluorescence-based assays for microplate reader
  • Use Resazurin to quantitate cells based on metabolic activity
  • Calcein-AM measures cellular enzymatic activity and membrane integrity
  • Highly sensitive, simple, and rapid

Viability Assays for Microplate Reader

Catalog No.



MTT Cell Viability Assay Kit30006Absorbance at 570 nm• Substrates reduced by mitochondrial activity to form colored formazen salts
• Widely used, simple, homogeneous assays
• MTT requires cell lysis before detection, XTT does not
XTT Cell Viability Assay Kit30007Absorbance at 475 nm
Resazurin Cell Viability Assay Kit30025Absorbance at 570 nm or
Fluorescence at 571/585 nm
• Simple, homogeneous assay for mitochondrial metabolic activity
• Measure absorbance or fluorescence without cell lysis
• Equivalent to alamarBlue® or CellTiter-Blue® at lower cost
Calcein-AM Cell Viability Assay Kit30026Fluorescence at 485/530 nm• True endpoint assay for cell viability
• Measures cellular enzymatic activity and membrane integrity
• Simple, rapid assay

alamarBlue is a registered trademark of Trek Biosystems. CellTiter-Blue is a registered trademark of Promega Corporation.

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ATP-Glo™ Bioluminometric Cell Viability Assay

ATP-Glo™ is a highly sensitive and linear luminescence-based assay that allows quantitation of viable mammalian cells based on their ATP levels. The assay can detect as little as 0.01 pmol ATP or a single viable cell. It is a homogeneous assay for use with cells in culture medium. Note: ATP-Glo™ is a flash-type assay that requires samples to be read in a luminometer immediately after adding the reagent, or using a luminescence plate reader with a reagent injector.


  • Economical luminescence-based cell or ATP quantitation
  • Highly sensitive and linear
  • Homogeneous assay, add reagent directly to cells in medium
  • Flash-type assay requires samples to be read immediately after adding reagent

ATP-Glo™ Kits

Catalog No.


ATP-Glo™ Bioluminometric Cell Viability Assay30020-T50 assays
30020-1200 assays
30020-21000 assays


Quantitation of an ATP standard curve (red squares), or a dilution series of live Jurkat cells (blue diamonds) with the ATP-Glo™ Assay Kit.

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ViaFluor® SE Cell Proliferation Kits

ViaFluor® SE Cell Proliferation Kits can be used to monitor cell division by flow cytometry. ViaFluor® SE dyes are membrane permeable compounds that are non-fluorescent until they enter viable cells, where they are hydrolyzed by cytoplasmic esterase enzymes to releases the fluorescent amine-reactive dyes. The dyes then covalently react with amine groups on intracellular proteins, forming fluorescent conjugates that are retained in the cell. Immediately after staining, a single, bright fluorescent population will be detected by flow cytometry. With each cell division, daughter cells inherit roughly half of the fluorescent label, allowing the number of cell divisions that occur after labeling to be detected by the appearance of successively dimmer fluorescent peaks on a flow cytometry histogram compared to cells analyzed immediately after staining. Cell proliferation dyes can be used to track cell divisions in vivo or in vitro. The staining also can withstand fixation and permeabilization for subsequent immunostaining. Available with blue, green, and red fluorescence.

Top: Principal of dye dilution assays for cell proliferation. Bottom: Cell division tracking in Jurkat cells over the course of 5 days (d0-d4). Cells were labeled with ViaFluor®405 on day 0, and analyzed by flow cytometry on each following day. Each successively dimmer peak represents one cell division. Unstained cells are in gray.

Cell Division
Tracking Dyes

Catalog No.

Ex/Em (nm)

Flow detection


ViaFluor® 405 Cell Proliferation Kit30068408/452 Pacific Blue®• Track cell division by dye dilution using flow cytometry

• ViaFluor® 488 is a unique, improved green dye to replace CFSE

• ViaFluor® 405 replaces CellTrace™ Violet
ViaFluor® 488 Cell Proliferation Kit30086493/532FITC
ViaFluor® CFSE Cell Proliferation Kit30050495/519FITC

Pacific Blue and Texas Red are registered trademarks of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

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MitoView™ Dyes

Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential is a hallmark for apoptosis. Biotium offers MitoView™ 633 dye for membrane potential-sensitive staining of mitochondria by microscopy or flow cytometry. For simultaneous detection of mitochondrial membrane potential and caspase-3 activity, see the NucView®488 and MitoView™633 Apoptosis Assay.

We also offer MitoView™ 405, which changes localization upon mitochondrial depolarization, and MitoView™ Green, a membrane-potential independent mitochondrial dye that can be used to image mitochondria following mitochondrial depolarization, or after fixation.

JC-1 and Other Classic Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Dyes

In healthy cells, JC-1 dye aggregates in mitochondria as a function of membrane potential, resulting in red fluorescence with brightness proportional to the membrane potential. Conversely, in apoptotic and necrotic cells with diminished mitochondrial membrane potential, JC-1 exists in a green fluorescent monomeric form in the cytosol, allowing of cell viability to be assessed by measuring the ratio of red to green fluorescence by flow cytometry or fluorescence microplate reader.Rhodamine 123 is a green fluorescent mitochondrial membrane potential dye. Red fluorescent TMRM and TMRE are the preferred dyes for quantitative membrane potential measurements.


Timecourse of NucView®488 and MitoView™633 in staurosporine-treated Jurkat cells. As apoptosis progresses, MitoView™633 staining is lost and cells become positive for NucView®488.

MitoView™ 405
MitoView™ Green
MitoView™ 633

Mitochondrial Dyes


Detection channel


Catalog No.


MitoView™ 633622/648 nm*Cy®5, APC*Yes70055-T50 ug
7005520×50 ug
NucView® 488 & MitoView™ 633 Apoptosis Kit500/530 nm (NucView®488)
622/648 nm* (MitoView­™ 633)
FITC/Cy®5*Yes30062100 assays
MitoView™ 405398/440 nmDAPIPartial†70070-T50 ug
7007020×50 ug
MitoView™ Green490/523 nmFITC, GFPNo70054-T50 ug
7005420×50 ug
JC-1 Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Detection Kit510/527 nm (cytoplasm)
585/590 nm (mitochondria)
FITC/Cy®3Yes30001100 assays
JC-1 Chloride Salt700115 mg
JC-1 Iodide Salt700145 mg
Rhodamine 123505/534 nmFITCYes7001050 mg
TMRE548/573 nmCy®3Yes7001625 mg
TMRE, 2 mM in DMSO700160.5 mL
TMRM548/573 nmCy®3Yes7001725 mg

* MitoView™ 633 also has visible red fluorescence in the Cy®3/rhodamine channel. It is not recommended for imaging with other visible red probes.
† Localizes to the cytoplasm after mitochondrial depolarization, but still retains fluorescence.
Cy Dye is a registered trademark of GE Healthcare.

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Viability/Cytotoxicity Assay Kit

The Viability/Cytotoxicity Assay Kit for Animal Live & Dead Cells stains live cells with green fluorescence and dead cells with red fluorescence for detection by fluorescence microscopy or flow cytometry. Calcein-AM is a non-fluorescent cell-permeable ester that can passively enter cells. In viable cells, it is hydrolyzed by esterases in the cytoplasm to release the green fluorescent dye calcein. Calcein itself is membrane-impermeant and is only retained in viable cells with intact plasma membranes. Ethidium Homodimer III is a red fluorescent membrane-impermeant nucleic acid dye. It selectively stains dead cells with damaged plasma membranes (necrotic or late apoptotic cells).

Cytotoxicity/Viability Assay

Catalog No.


Viability/Cytotoxicity Assay for Animal Live & Dead Cells30002-T150 assays
30002300 assays

HeLa cells stained with the Viability/Cytotoxicity Assay for Animal Live & Dead Cells. Dead cells are stained red and live cells are stained green.

Dead Cell Nucleic Acid Stains

Membrane-impermeant nucleic acid dyes can be used to selectively stain necrotic and late apoptotic cells that have leaky plasma membranes. These dyes have very low fluorescence until they bind DNA or RNA, so they can be used to stain cells without a wash step for homogenous and real-time imaging in cell culture medium. Biotium offers dead cell stains in a variety of colors, as well as Apoptosis & Necrosis Staining Kits with dead cell stains and apoptosis markers.


In general, dead cell nucleic acid dyes cannot be fixed after staining, because the dyes do not become cross-linked to DNA. After fixation, they are free to diffuse from dead cells to live cells (which become permeabilized during fixation), resulting in poor discrimination between live and dead cell populations. For fixable dead cell stains, see our Live-or-Dye™ product line, including the nuclear-specific Live-or-Dye NucFix™ Red.

Dead Cell Nucleic Acid Stains

Catalog No.

Color (Ex/Em*)


Oxazole Blue, 1 mM in DMSO 40091Blue
(435/455 nm)
• Blue cell impermeant dye
• Equivalent to PO-PRO™-1 Iodide
NucSpot® 470, 1000X in DMSO 40083Green
(460/546 nm)
• Green cell impermeant dye
• Nuclear-specific counterstain in fixed cells
• Excellent match for blue LED excitation sources
Oxazole Yellow, 1 mM in DMSO 40089Green
(491/509 nm)
• Green cell impermeant dye
• Selectively stains early apoptotic cells
• Equivalent to YO-PRO®-1 Iodide
TO Iodide, 1 mM in DMSO40088Green
(515/531 nm)
• Green cell impermeant dye
• Equivalent to TO-PRO®-1 Iodide
Thiazole Orange Homodimer,
1 mM in DMSO
(520/541 nm)
• High affinity dimeric cyanine dye
• Dead cell stain and electrophoresis dye
• Equivalent to TOTO®-1 Iodide
Propidium Iodide, 100 mg40016Red
(530/622 nm)
• Widely used dead cell stain
• Can be excited by 488 nm laser line for detection in the PE channel by flow cytometry
• Useful for cell cycle analysis in fixed cells (with RNase treatment)
Propidium Iodide, 1 mg/mL in Water40017
Propidium Iodide Buffer, 50 ug/mL40048
Ethidium Homodimer I, 1 mg 40010Red
(527/624 nm)
• High-affinity membrane-impermeant nucleic acid stain
• >30-fold fluorescence enhancement upon binding to DNA/RNA
• High-purity grade not available from other manufacturers
Ethidium Homodimer I, 2 mM in DMSO 40014
Ethidium Homodimer III, 1 mg 40050Red
(532/625 nm)
• Developed at Biotium as an alternative to Ethidium Homodimer I
• 45% brighter than EthDI when bound to DNA
Ethidium Homodimer III, 1 mM in DMSO 40051
7-AAD, 1 mg 40037Far-red
(546/647 nm)
• Far-red dye for flow cytometry detection in the PE-Cy®5 channel
• Can be excited by the 488 nm or 532 nm laser line
• Useful for cell cycle analysis in fixed cells
7-AAD, 1 mg/mL solution 40084
NucSpot® Far-Red, 1000X in DMSO40085Far-red
(597/667 nm)
• Designed as improved replacement for 7-AAD
• For flow cytometry in the PE-Cy®5 or APC channel
• Less bleed into the PE-Texas Red® channel
RedDot™2 Far-Red Nuclear Stain40061Far-red
(665/695 nm)
• Far-red cell impermeant dye for the Cy®5 channel
• Nuclear-specific counterstain in fixed cells
• Replaces Draq7™
Thiazole Red, 1 mM in DMSO40087Far-red
(642/661 nm)
• Far-red cell impermeant dye for the Cy®5 channel
• Dead cell stain and electrophoresis dye
• Equivalent to TO-PRO®-3 Iodide
Thiazole Red Homodimer,
1 mM in DMSO
(642/660 nm)
• High affinity dimeric cyanine dye for the Cy®5 channel
• Useful dead cell stain
• Equivalent to TOTO®-3 Iodide
* When bound to nucleic acids
SYBR, PO-PRO, Texas Red, TOTO, TO-PRO, and YO-PRO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Cy dye is a registered trademark of GE Healthcare. Draq7 is a trademark of Biostatus Ltd.

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Live-or-Dye™ Fixable Dead Cell Stains

Live-or-Dye™ Fixable Viability Stains are designed for discrimination between live and dead cells. The dyes are cell membrane impermeable and amine-reactive. They enter dead cells with damaged plasma membranes and covalently label intracellular proteins. The dyes react with surface proteins on live cells, but because these are much less abundant than intracellular proteins the staining is very low (Figure 1). Live-or-Dye™ labeling is extremely stable, so cells can be fixed and permeabilized without loss of fluorescence or dye transfer between cells. Biotium offers a selection of 14 bright and photostable Live-or-Dye™ stains for maximal flexibility in multi-color analysis.

Principle of Live-or-Dye discrimination of live and dead cells.

Flow Cytometry

Live/dead stains are useful probes to include when analyzing cell surface protein expression by flow cytometry, because they allow intracellular fluorescence signal from dead cells with permeable plasma membranes to be excluded from analysis. In addition, several Live-or-Dye™ stains were designed specifically for spectral flow to fill in gaps between common fluorophores: Live-or-Dye™ 510/550, 665/685, 375/600, and 615/740.

Sampler Kits Available

Not sure which kit is right for you? Live-Or-Dye™ stains are also available in sampler kits that include 5 spectrally compatible stains for either common flow cytometry configurations or spectral cytometry. View purchasing information below for details.

Live (open peaks) or heat-killed (solid peaks) Jurkat cells stained with Live-or-Dye™ Fixable Viability Stains and analyzed by flow cytometry. Results are comparable for live or fixed/permeabilized cells.

Fluorescence Microscopy

The staining protocol has been optimized to maximize live/dead discrimination with minimal live cell staining, in order to prevent interference with immunostaining. In microscopy, live/dead stains allow unambiguous visual discrimination of dead cells.

Ethanol-treated HeLa cells stained with Live-or-Dye™ Fixable Dead Cell Stains. Dead cells stain brightly with Live-or-Dye™, while live cells show minimal staining. Nuclei are stained with Hoechst (blue).

Live-or-Dye NucFix™ Red

Live-or-Dye NucFix™ Red is a unique, cell membrane impermeable dye that specifically stains the nuclei of dead cells. Unlike other commonly used nuclear stains such as propidium iodide or DRAQ7™, Live-or-Dye NucFix™ labeling is covalent, so the dye doesn’t transfer between cells after fixation. Live-or-Dye NucFix™ Red can be used for flow cytometry or fluorescence microscopy.

live or dye nucfix red
Discrimination of live and dead cells using Live-or-Dye NucFix™ Red Fixable Viability Stain. A. Flow cytometry of live (open peak) or heat-killed (solid peak) Jurkat cells stained with Live-or-Dye NucFix™ Red. B. Ethanol-treated HeLa cells stained with NucFix™ Red. Killed cells show bright red nuclear staining, compared to no staining seen in live cells. Nuclei are stained with Hoechst (blue).

Cat. No.

Viability Dye

Compatible lasers (nm)

Optimal detection channels


32002, 32002-TLive-or-Dye™ 350/448355, 375DAPI
32014,32014-TLive-or-Dye™ 375/600355, 375, 405Spectral Scan, BUV615, BV605Developed for spectral cytometry
32003, 32003-TLive-or-Dye™ 405/452405 nmPacific Blue®, BV421, BV450
32009, 32009-TLive-or-Dye™ 405/545405 nmAmCyan, BV510
32004, 32004-TLive-or-Dye™ 488/515488 nmFITCValidated for microscopy
32012, 32012-TLive-or-Dye™ 510/550488, 532Spectral scanDeveloped for spectral cytometry
32005, 32005-TLive-or-Dye™ 568/583488, 532, 561PE, PIValidated for microscopy
32006, 32006-TLive-or-Dye™ 594/614488, 532, 561PI, PE-CF®594, PE-Texas Red®Validated for microscopy
32015, 32015-TLive-or-Dye™ 615/740633-640Spectral scan, APC-Cy®7Developed for spectral cytometry
32007, 32007-TLive-or-Dye™ 640/662633-640APCValidated for microscopy
32013, 32013-TLive-or-Dye™ 665/685633-640Spectral scan, AF700Developed for spectral cytometry
32008, 32008-TLive-or-Dye™ 750/777633-640, 785APC-Cy®7The brightest dye for the APC-Cy®7 channel
32011, 32011-TLive-or-Dye™ 787/808785, 808APC-Cy®7, IR800

Live-or-Dye™ Sampler Kits

Kit Name

Catalog No.

Included dyes: Ex/Em (Cat No.)


Live-or-Dye™ Fixable Viability Sampler Kit, Standard32016• 350/488 (32002A)
• 405/545 (32009A)
• 488/515 (32004A)
• 568/583 (32005A)
• 640/662 (32007A)
Designed for use on most standard flow cytometry laser and filter configurations
Live-or-Dye™ Fixable Viability Sampler Kit, Spectral32017• 350/448 (32002A)
• 375/600 (32014A)
• 510/550 (32012A)
• 615/740 (32015A)
• 664/683 (32013A)
Designed for use in spectral flow cytometry, to fill in gaps between common fluorophores

Draq7 is a trademark of Biostatus, Ltd. Texas Red and Pacific Blue are registered trademarks of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Cy Dye is a registered trademark of GE Healthcare.

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NucView® Caspase Substrates for Live Cells

NucView® Caspase-3 Substrates are novel fluorogenic substrates developed by Biotium to detect apoptosis in intact cells in real-time. Biotium has invented a new concept in the design of fluorogenic enzyme substrates. The enzyme substrate is attached to a fluorogenic DNA dye. Before cleavage, the dye is non-fluorescent and unable to bind to DNA. Upon enzymatic cleavage of the substrate, the dye is released and becomes capable of binding to DNA to emit fluorescence. In the case of NucView® Caspase-3 Substrates, the caspase-3/7 substrate peptide DEVD is attached to a DNA-binding dye. The substrate enters the cell cytoplasm where it is cleaved by caspase-3 in apoptotic cells to release the fluorogenic DNA dye, which stains the nucleus. Unlike FLICA assays that use irreversible inhibitors to label active caspases, NucView® caspase-3 substrates do not interfere with caspase activity, allowing monitoring of caspase activity in real time. NucView® can be fixed with formaldehyde after staining, but it cannot be used to stain fixed cells or tissues. For staining of fixed cells or tissues, see our TUNEL Assays.


  • Simple, homogenous assay for endpoint assay or real-time detection in live cells
  • Non-toxic, allowing for multi-day experiments
  • Detect caspase-3 activity and visualize apopototic nuclear morphology
  • For flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, or live cell imaging systems
  • Available as stand-alone substrates or in kits with other apoptosis or necrosis probes
  • Available with blue, green, or red fluorescence
  • NucView® 488 validated in more than 100 cell types and 200 publications – See the list

Principle of NucView® substrate technology. The substrate is non-fluorescent and does not bind DNA. After enzyme cleavage, the high-affinity DNA dye is released to bind DNA and become fluorescent.

NucView® 488 Caspase-3 Enzyme Substrate in action. HT-1080 cells were treated with camptothecin and NucView® 488 Caspase-3 Substrate and imaged every 30 minutes for 24 hours on the IncuCyte® Zoom. Apoptotic cell nuclei fluoresce green as NucView® 488 dye is released by caspase-3 cleavage. Video courtesy of Essen Biosciences.


Apoptotic Jurkat cell stained with NucView® 488 (nucleus, green) and CF®647 Annexin V (cell surface phosphatidylserine, magenta).
NucView® 405 Caspase-3 Substrate fluorescence over time in staurosporine-treated Jurkat cells, analyzed in the Pacific Blue® channel of a BD LSRII flow cytometer.
Untreated or staurosporine-treated MCF-7 cells stained with MitoView™ Blue, NucView® 530 (red), and CF®488A Annexin V (green). Healthy cells show mitochondrial staining with MitoView™. In apoptotic cells, mitochondrial localization of MitoView™ Blue is lost, and cells become positive for NucView® and Annexin V.

NucView® Caspase-3 Substrates and Kits

Catalog No.


NucView® 405 Caspase-3 Substrate, 1 mM in DMSO10405Blue fluorescence for flow cytometry in the Pacific Blue® channel or microscopy with the 405 nm laser
NucView® 405 Caspase-3 Substrate, 1 mM in PBS10407NucView® 405 substrate in PBS, for DMSO-sensitive cell types
NucView® 488 Caspase-3 Substrate, 1 mM in DMSO10402Green fluorescent substrate validated in more than 100 cell types and 200 publications
NucView® 488 Caspase-3 Substrate, 1 mM in PBS10403NucView® 488 substrate in PBS, for DMSO-sensitive cell types
NucView® 530 Caspase-3 Substrate, 1 mM in DMSO10406Orange fluorescence for microscopy in the Cy®3 channel or flow cytometry in the R-PE channel
NucView® 530 Caspase-3 Substrate, 1 mM in PBS10408NucView® 530 substrate in PBS, for DMSO-sensitive cell types
NucView® 488 and MitoView™ 633 Apotosis Detection Kit30062NucView® 488 and far-red fluorescent MitoView™ 633 for the Cy®5 channel
NucView® 488 and RedDot™ 2 Apoptosis & Necrosis Kit30072NucView® 488 and far-red dead cell DNA dye RedDot™ 2 for the Cy®5 channel
Dual Apoptosis Assay with NucView® 488 and CF®594 Annexin V30067NucView® 488 and red fluorescent Annexin V apoptosis probe
Dual Apoptosis Assay with NucView® 488 and CF®640R Annexin V30073NucView® 488 and far-red fluorescent Annexin V apoptosis probe

Pacific Blue is a registered trademark of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Cy Dye is a registered trademark of GE Healthcare.

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Other Caspase Substrates and Assays

In addition to our patented NucView® technology for detecting caspase-3 activity in live cells, Biotium also offers rhodamine 110 (R110)-based assay kits for fluorescence- or absorbance-based detection of caspase-3 or caspase-8 activity in cell lysates. The HTS versions of the R110-based homogenous caspase-3 and caspase-8 assay kits are optimized for high throughput screening by fluorescence microplate reader. We also offers a coumarin (AMC)-based blue fluorogenic substrate (Ac-DEVD-AMC) for measuring caspase-3 activity in cell lysates by fluorescence microplate reader.

Apoptosis Inducers/Inhibitors

Staurosporine is a broad range protein kinase inhibitor that induces apoptosis in cultured cells. It is useful as a positive control for many apoptosis assays. We also offer ionomycin, a calcium ionophore that has been shown to induce apoptosis through calpain activation. Caspase inhibitor Ac-DEVD-CHO is a competitive inhibitor of caspase-3 for use in cell lysates.

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Dual Apoptosis & Necrosis Assay Kits

Annexin V is a 36 kDa protein that has high affinity for phosphatidylserine (PS). During apoptosis, PS is translocated from the inner to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, where it can be stained by fluorescent conjugates of Annexin V. We offer kits with our bright and photostable CF®488A Annexin V and a variety of dead cell nucleic acid stains, including propidium iodide (PI), 7-AAD, Ethidium Homodimer III (EthDIII), and RedDot™2. These are membrane-impermeant fluorogenic nucleic acid dyes that stain necrotic and late apoptotic cells with damaged plasma membranes. EthDIII is a novel red fluorescent dead cell stain with higher affinity and quantum yield compared to PI, while RedDot™2 is a far-red dead cell stain for the Cy®5 channel. The Apoptotic, Necrotic, and Healthy Cells Quantitation Kit Plus also includes blue fluorescent Hoechst DNA dye for visualizing all cells by fluorescence microscopy. Also see our apoptosis and necrosis staining kit with NucView®488 Caspase-3 Substrate and the far-red dead cell stain RedDot™2 .

Annexin V conjugates are available with a wide selection of CF® dyes and other labels, including Near-IR CF® Dye Annexin V conjugates. We offer dead cell nucleic acid stains separately as well, including far-red fluorescent RedDot™2 far-red dye and green fluorescent NucSpot® 470 stain. Note: Apoptosis & Necrosis Staining kits and Annexin conjugates cannot be used with fixed cells or tissues. For fixed cell stains, see our TUNEL Assays.


Untreated and staurosporine-treated Jurkat cells stained with the Apoptotic, Necrotic and Healthy Cells Plus Kit. Apoptotic cells are stained green, necrotic/late apoptotic cells are stained red, and all cell nuclei are stained blue.

Apoptosis and Necrosis Staining Kits

Catalog No.


CF®488A Annexin V and PI Apoptosis Kit30061• CF®488A stains apoptotic cells green for the FITC channel
• PI stains necrotic cells red for the Cy®3 or PE channels
• For microscopy or flow cytometry
CF®488A Annexin V and 7-AAD Apoptosis Kit30060• CF®488A stains apoptotic cells green for the FITC channel
• 7-AAD stains necrotic cells red for the PE-Cy®5 or FL3 channels
• For flow cytometry
Apoptosis & Necrosis Quantitation Kit Plus30065• CF®488A stains apoptotic cells green for the FITC channel
• EthD-III stains dead cells red for the Cy®3 or PE channels
• EthD-III has higher affinity and quantum yield than PI or 7-AAD
• For microscopy or flow cytometry
Apoptotic, Necrotic & Healthy Cells Quantitation Kit Plus30066• CF®488A stains apoptotic cells green for the FITC channel
• EthD-III stains dead cells red for the Cy® channel
• Hoechst stains all cell nuclei blue for the DAPI channel
• For microscopy
NucView®488 and RedDot™2 Apoptosis and Necrosis Kit30072• NucView®488 stains apoptotic nuclei green for the FITC channel
• RedDot™2 stains necrotic cells far-red for the Cy®5 or PE-Cy®5, APC, or FL3 channels
• For microscopy or flow cytometry
Annexin V ConjugatesMultiple• Annexin V with our bright and photostable CF® dyes and a selection of other labels
Annexin V Conjugates, Azide-FreeMultiple• Annexin V with our bright and photostable CF® dyes and a selection of other labels
• Lyophilized and preservative-free for real-time cell imaging
Annexin V Near-IR CF® Dye ConjugatesMultiple• Annexin V conjugated to our superior Near-IR CF® dyes
• Lyophilized and preservative-free for in vivo use
Annexin Binding Buffer99902• Concentrated Annexin Binding Buffer for cell staining
NucSpot® 470 Nuclear Stain40083• Green fluorescent dead cell stain
• Also useful as a nuclear-specific counterstain for fixed cells
RedDot™2 Far-Red Nuclear Stain40061• Far-red nuclear stain for dead cells or fixed cells
• Detect in the Cy®5 channel
Ethidium homodimer III40051• Red fluorescent dead cell stain
• Higher affinity and quantum yield than PI
Propidium Iodide40017• Widely used red fluorescent dead cell stain
7-AAD40037• Fluorescent dead cell stain for the PE-Cy®5/FL3 channel
NucSpot® Far-Red40085• Designed as an improved replacement for 7-AAD
• Less bleed into the PE-Texas Red® channel compared to 7-AAD

Cy Dye is a registered trademark of GE Healthcare.

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CF® Dye Fluorescent TUNEL Staining Kits

TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) mediated dUTP nick-end labeling) is highly selective for the detection of apoptotic cells, but not necrotic cells or cells with DNA strand breaks resulting from irradiation or drug treatment. In this assay, TdT enzyme catalyzes the addition of labeled dUTP to the 3’ ends of cleaved DNA fragments. Fluorescent dye-conjugated dUTP can be used for direct detection of fragmented DNA in fixed cells or tissue sections. We offer TUNEL kits with dUTP conjugates of our bright and photostable CF® dyes with green, red, or far-red fluorescence. We also offer CF® dye dUTP Conjugates in a variety of colors.

Apoptotic cells in a section of involuting mouse mammary gland stained with CF®594 TUNEL Assay (red). Nuclei are counterstained blue with DAPI.


CF® Dye TUNEL Kits

Catalog No.


Detection channel

CF®488A TUNEL Assay Apoptosis Detection Kit30063490/515 nm FITC
CF®594 TUNEL Assay Apoptosis Detection Kit30064593/614 nm Texas Red®
CF®640R TUNEL Assay Apoptosis Detection Kit30074642/662 nmCy®5 or APC

Texas Red is a registered trademark of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Cy Dye is a registered trademark of GE Healthcare.

PathoGreen™ and Other Neuronal Histofluorescent Stains

PathoGreen™ Histofluorescent Stain is an anionic green fluorescent dye functionally similar to Fluoro-Jade® dyes. These dyes stain degenerating neurons and their processes in tissue sections and cultured cells. The mechanism of staining has not been determined, but it is proposed that the negatively charged dyes bind to positively charged polyamines or other molecules generated in dying neurons in response to a variety of different neurotoxic insults.

We also offer stains for the detection of amyloid in live or fixed neuronal tissues, including Congo Red, DCDAPH, and Thioflavin T.

Degenerating neurons in a section of mouse hippocampus stained with PathoGreen™.

PathoGreen™ & Other Histofluorescent Stains


Catalog No.



PathoGreen™, 1000X in water80027-5mL5 mLStains degenerating neurons in tissue sections or cultures with green fluorescence
80027-50mL50 mL
Congo Red, High Purity Grade80028100 mgColorimetric or fluorescent staining of amyloid plaques (Ex/Em 497/614 nm)
DCDAPH800305 mgDetection of β amyloid in tissue sections and by near IR small animal imaging (Ex/Em 597/665 nm)
Thioflavin T, High Purity Grade80033100 mgGreen fluorescent cell permeable fluorescent amyloid probe

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NucView® Caspase-3 Enzyme Substrates

The tables below list primary cells types and immortalized cell lines reported to work with NucView® 488 in the published scientific literature. Click here for a PDF version of the tables along with the references.
Primary cell typeSpecies
Alveolar epithelial cellsMouse
Cortical neuronsRat
Dendritic cellsMouse
Embryonic fibroblast (MEF)Mouse
Embryo tailbudChicken
Gingival fibroblastsHuman
HemocytesSilkworm(Bombyx mori)
Hippocampal neuronsRat
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis fibroblastsHuman
Immature B cellsMouse
Kidney epithelial cellsMouse
Lung microvascular endothelial cellsHuman
Mammary epithelial cells (3-D cultures)Mouse
SVZ neural progenitor cellsRat
OocytesBovine, mouse
Pancreatic acinar cellsMouse
Pancreatic beta cellsRat
Pancreatic islet cellsMouse
Peritoneal macrophagesMouse
Pollen tubesField poppy(Papaver rhoeas)
Retinal pigmented epithelial cellsHuman, mouse
Skin fibroblastsSand cat(Felis margarita)
Stem cellsHuman
Umbilical vein endothelial cellsHuman
Vascular endothelial cellsRat
Immortalized cell lineSpeciesCell type
293-HHumanEmbryonic kidney
293-THumanEmbryonic kidney
4T1MouseMammary tumor
67NRMouseMammary carcinoma
CCL-134HumanIPF pulmonary fibroblast
CCL-190HumanPulmonary fibroblast
FU-UR-1HumanRenal cell carcinoma
H9c2RatCardiac myoblast
HCLEHumanCorneal epithelial
HeLaHumanCervical cancer
HMECHumanMicrovascular endothelial
HT-1080HumanBreast fibrosarcoma
JYHumanLymphoblastic leukemia
K562HumanMyelogenous leukaemia
LLC-PK1PigKidney epithelial
MCF-7HumanBreast adenocarcinoma
MCF-10AHumanBreast adenocarcinoma
MDA-MB-231HumanBreast adenocarcinoma
MDA-MB-468HumanBreast cancer
MDCKCanineKidney epithelial
MES-SAHumanUterine sarcoma
MES-SA/DXHumanUterine sarcoma
Min 6MousePancreatic insulinoma
NRKRatKidney epithelial
NRK-52ERatKidney epithelial
PC-3HumanProstate cancer
SKBR3HumanBreast cancer
STHdhMouseStriatal cells
TK6HumanSplenic lymphoblast
U373 MGHumanGlioblastoma
WEHI 7.2MouseLymphoid

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The substrates are very stable. Some users have reported performing time course assays with NucView® 488 Caspase-3 Substrate for 4-5 days.

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NucView® Caspase-3 Substrates can be added to the cells at the start of the experiment or at the end. A major advantage of NucView® Caspase-3 Substrates compared to other apoptosis assays is that it can be used to monitor capase-3 activity in real time.

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