GelGreen™ can be imaged on a UV transilluminator or blue light source using SYBR® dye settings
A number of ethidium bromide alternatives are marketed as being safe. In fact, many so-called “safe” gel stains contain dyes that are well known to bind DNA in living cells, with cytotoxic effects.
GelRed™ and GelGreen™ are designed to be nontoxic and nonmutagenic by virtue of being cell membrane impermeable, so they cannot enter living cells. Download our white paper to learn more: Comparison of Nucleic Acid Gel Stains: Cell permeability, safety, and sensitivity of ethidium bromide alternatives.
GelRed™ and GelGreen™ are a new generation of fluorescent DNA stains designed to replace the highly toxic ethidium bromide (EtBr). Developed by scientists at Biotium, GelRed™ and GelGreen™ are superior to EtBr and other ethidium bromide alternatives by having a combination of low toxicity, high sensitivity and exceptional stability.
GelRed™ Is Superior to EtBr
GelGreen™ Is Unmatched by SYBR® Safe
EtBr has been the predominant dye used for nucleic acid staining for decades because of its low price and generally sufficient sensitivity. However, EtBr is a highly mutagenic material. The safety hazard and costs associated with decontamination and waste disposal can ultimately make the nucleic acid dye expensive to use. For this reason, various ethidium bromide alternative DNA gel stains have become commercially available in recent years. Although these alternative nucleic acid staining dyes have reduced mutagenicity, they often have to sacrifice other aspects of the dyes. For example, SYBR® Safe has very limited sensitivity while SYBR® Green and SYBR® Gold are much less stable than EtBr.
To make GelRed™ and GelGreen™ safe, scientists at Biotium used a novel yet very simple concept: reduce genotoxicity by preventing the dyes from entering living cells. We believe that a DNA-binding dye can be made nonmutagenic or substantially so by denying its chance to be in contact with genomic DNA in living cells. Thus, we engineered the chemical structures of GelRed™ and GelGreen™ such that the dyes are incapable of crossing cell membranes. The Ames test confirmed that GelRed™ and GelGreen™ are nonmutagenic at concentrations well above their working concentrations used for gel staining. Furthermore, environmental safety tests showed that GelRed™ and GelGreen™ are nonhazardous and nontoxic to aquatic life. As a result, GelRed™ and GelGreen™ can be disposed of down the drain or thrown away in the regular trash. For more information, please download the GelRed™ and GelGreen™ Safety Report.
GelRed™ and GelGreen™ are highly sensitive either as precast gel stains or post gel stains. GelRed™ is much more sensitive than EtBr, and at least as sensitive as or brighter than SYBR® Gold in post gel staining. Unlike SYBR® Gold, GelRed™ can also be used as a highly sensitive precast gel stain. GelGreen™ is spectrally similar to SYBR® Safe but is far more sensitive, and can be used with blue light gel imaging systems like the DarkReader®. PAGE GelRed™ is designed for staining DNA in acrylamide gels.
Another major advantage of GelRed™ and GelGreen™ DNA stain is their remarkable stability. You can store and handle the two nucleic acid staining dyes the same way you do with EtBr.
GelRed™ and GelGreen™ troubleshooting
- If you see DNA migration issues or smearing after post-staining with GelRed or GelGreen, then the problem is not caused by the nucleic acid dye. Avoid overfilling gel wells to prevent smearing of DNA down the surface of the gel.
- Pour a lower percentage agarose gel. Higher molecular weight DNA separates better with a lower percentage gel.
- Change the running buffer. TBE buffer has a higher buffering capacity than TAE buffer.
- Heat GelRed™ solution to 45-50°C for two minutes and vortex to dissolve.
- Store dye at room temperature to avoid precipitation.
GelRed™ and GelGreen™ Nucleic Acid Gel Stains
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View the GelGreen™ Product Line← FAQs