Mammalian Cell ViabilityImaging assays for viability use the same principles as population assays. Cells with compromised plasma membranes allow the influx of cell-impermeant DNA-binding dyes which fluoresce only when bound to DNA. Thus, DNA staining can be used as a viability indicator for individual cells within a population.

Find mammalian cell viability assays

See also cell viability assays for flow cytometry


Imaging mammalian cell viability

  • Quick and convenient ReadyProbes Assays
  • Multi-parameter imaging assays
  • Scalable building blocks for HCS
  •  

    Hep G2 cells stained using the LIVE/DEAD Cell Imaging Kit.

    Membrane integrity is a commonly measured parameter in cell viability assays. Cells with compromised membranes allow entry to otherwise cell-impermeant DNA-binding dyes, and this DNA staining serves as a viability indicator for individual cells within a population.

    Stains with differential membrane permeability can be used to build multi-parameter assays that detect both live and dead cells to provide a total count. Multiplex assays can be used to provide additional measures of viability, such as esterase activity, metabolic activity, or mitochondrial function, providing more context than a single-parameter readout.

    We offer functional reagents in a choice of color options so that you can construct and optimize multi-parameter assays for high-content analysis, including further multiplexing with fluorescent antibody-based detection.


    Mammalian cell viability assays

    Cell membranes in damaged and dying cells have increased permeability and allow the influx of dyes. Combination assays measure multiple parameters to provide more context for determining the status of both live and dead cells.

     
    Target
    Detects membrane permeability using fluorescent DNA-binding dye(s)
    Single-color assays to detect dead cells
    Two-color assays to detect dead cells and total cells
    Readout
    Dead cells stain green
    Dead cells stain red
    Dead cells stain green, live cells appear blue
    Dead cells stain red, total cells appear blue
    Fluorescent label
    DNA stain
    DNA stain
    DNA Stain
    Propidium iodide
    Hoechst 33342
    Hoechst 33342
    Standard filter set
    FITC
    Cy5
    FITC
    TRITC/RFP
    DAPI
    DAPI
    Ex/Em (nm)
    504/523
    642/661
    504/523
    535/617
    360/460
    360/460
    Multiplexing
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Protocol
    Microscopy
    Microscopy
    Microscopy
    Microscopy
    Format
    6 x 2.5 mL dropper bottle
    6 x 2.5 mL dropper bottle
    Cat. No.
    R37109
    R37113
    R37609
    R37610
     
    LIVE/DEAD Viability/Cytotoxicity Kit, for mammalian cells
    LIVE/DEAD Cell Imaging Kit (488/570)
    LIVE/DEAD Sperm Viability Kit
    Target
    Detects membrane permeability using fluorescent DNA- binding dye(s)
    Also measures esterase activity
    Measures live and membrane-compromised sperm cells
    Readout
    Active cells emit mostly green, and dead cells emit mostly red
    Active sperm cells emit green and dead cells emit mostly red
    Active sperm cells emit green and dead cells emit mostly red
    Fluorescent label
    Calcein AM
    Calcein AM
    SYBR 14 stain
    Ethidium homodimer
    BOBO-3 iodide
    Propidium iodide
    Standard filter set
    FITC
    FITC
    FITC
    TRITC/RFP
    Texas Red
    TRITC/RFP
    Ex/Em (nm)
    488/535
    488/535
    489/519
    528/617
    570/602
    535/617
    Multiplexing
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Protocol
    Microscopy
    Microscopy
    Microscopy
    Format
    1 kit/1,000 assays
    1 kit/200 assays
    1 kit/200–1,000 assays
    Cat. No.
    L3224
    R37601
    L7011
     
    Propidium iodide
    LIVE/DEAD Green Kit
    Mitochondrial Health Kit
    Target
    Detects membrane permeability using fluorescent DNA-binding dye(s)
    Readout
    Single-color assay components for multiplexing
    Two-color DNA binding assay
    Three-color assay for mitochondrial toxicity, cell toxicity, and total cell number
    Dead cells fluoresce
    Dead cells emit green, total cells emit red or blue; measures damaged cells and total cell number
    Viability and cytotoxicity assay measuring membrane permeability and mitochondrial function, together with total cell count
    Fluorescent label
    Image-iT DEAD Green
    Propidium iodide
    Image-iT DEAD Green
    Image-iT DEAD Green
    Standard filter set
    FITC
    TRITC/RFP
    NuclearMask Deep Red or Hoechst 33342
    MitoTracker Orange CMTMRos & Hoechst 33342
    Ex/Em (nm)
    488/515
    535/617
    FITC
    FITC
    DAPI
    DAPI or Cy5
    TRITC
    488/515
    488/515
    638/686 or 350/461
    350/461 and 550/580
    Multiplexing
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Protocol
    HCS
     
    Microscopy
    Microscopy
    Format
    1 vial/250 coverslips
    100 mg
    1 kit/200 assays
    1 kit/200 assays
    Cat. No.
    I10291
    P1304MP
    H10290
    H10295