Vybrant DyeCycle

The Invitrogen Vybrant DyeCycle family of dyes offers the ability to stain for DNA profiling in live cells with options for using 405, 488, 532, or 633 nm excitation. The dyes have low cytotoxicity, allowing stained cells to be sorted and otherwise cultured or assessed with functional assays after staining.

  • Precise—accurate cell cycle analysis in living cells
  • Safe—low cytotoxicity for cell sorting and additional live cell experiments
  • Flexible—colors available for all common laser lines

See all Vybrant DyeCycle Stains

Vybrant DyeCycle Stains selection guide

Vybrant product Ex. source Emission max Recommended filter No. of assays
DyeCycle Violet UV, 405 437 440/40 200
DyeCycle Green 488 534 530/30 200
DyeCycle Orange 488,532 563 585/42 200
DyeCycle Ruby 488, 633/5 686 695/40 100 400

Vybrant DyeCycle Stains for DNA content analysis

Vybrant DyeCycle Stains for flow cytometry are ideal tools for DNA content analysis in living cells. These DNA-selective stains are cell membrane permeant, and after binding DNA emit a fluorescence signal that is proportional to DNA mass.

Fluorescence data can be used to generate a histogram showing the distribution of cells in the phases of the cell cycle. These live-cell dyes allow the simultaneous co-staining of the cell population for other parameters, and due to their low cytotoxicity provide the possibility of cell sorting based on DNA content.

Vybrant DyeCycle Violet Stain

Figure 1. Cell cycle analysis using Vybrant DyeCycle Violet Stain. Histogram of live Jurkat cells stained with Vybrant DyeCycle Violet Stain showing DNA content distribution. G0/G1 and G2/M peaks are separated by the S phase distribution. Violet 405 nm excitation was used with a 440/40 nm bandpass filter.

Advantages of Vybrant DyeCycle Stains

Ability to combine cell cycle analysis with other live cell applications

Combining cell cycle analysis with additional live cell applications (i.e., analysis of GFP cells, immunophenotyping, cell sorting, CFSE cell tracing, and apoptotic sub-G1 population analysis) is a snap with Vybrant DyeCycle Stains. These stains are cell-permeant nucleic acid stains that can penetrate the nucleus without cell fixation therefore, they are compatible with many live cell applications.

Multiple color options for easier multiplexing

Vybrant DyeCycle Stains are available in four different color choices for use on UV, violet, blue, green, or red lasers. These options allow researchers to free up other channels on their flow cytometers for additional parameters in their experiments. DyeCycle Ruby takes advantage of the commonly available 488 nm and 633/5 nm excitation sources with emission >670 nm, placing cell cycle studies within reach of all flow cytometrists.

Ability to sort based on phase of cell cycle

Vybrant DyeCycle Stains exhibit relatively low cytotoxicity, allowing the possibility of sorting based on phase of the cell cycle.  Recently, Vybrant DyeCycle Violet was used to sort adult subventricular zone neural stem cell populations according to their stage in the cell cycle (Pastrana, et al. PNAS; (106) 6387-6392).

Ability to identify stem cell side populations on the violet laser

Vybrant DyeCycle Violet Stain has also been shown to identify stem cell side populations and early progenitors in mammalian hematopoietic tissues using the violet laser. Isolated cells were shown to have the same phenotypic characteristics of SP cells isolated with Hoechst 33342 (Telford, et al. (2006) Stem Cells 25:1029–1036).

Stem cell side analysis using DyeCycle Violet Stain

Figure 2. Analysis of stem cell side population in human cord blood using DyeCycle Violet Stain. 
Cells were incubated with 10 µM DyeCycle Violet Stain for 90 min at 37°C, then washed and stored on ice until analysis. Violet laser excitation showed a recognizable side population of cells (red bracket). Data courtesy of Dr. William Telford, NIH.

Low cytotoxicity stain

Vybrant DyeCycle Ruby stain shows significantly less cytotoxicity than DRAQ5 dye, with cytotoxicity levels similar to commonly used Hoechst 33342.

Brightfield images of cells grown after sorting

Figure 3. Brightfield images of cells grown after sorting. Live Jurkat cells were stained with either 5 µM UV-excitable Hoechst 33342, 5 µM Vybrant DyeCycle Ruby stain, or 5 µM DRAQ5 DNA dye. The cells were then sorted and cultured for 8 days to examine their ability to grow after staining and sorting. Visual inspection of the cultures show the characteristic grape-like clusters of growing Jurkat cells, in the cells  stained with Hoechst 33342 and Vybrant DyeCycle Ruby Stains, comparable to the control cells. The cells stained with DRAQ5 dye did not show appreciable growth, indicating a much higher level of cytotoxicity in that treatment.


Flow Cytometry Learning Center—Access flow cytometry educational resources for better experiment planning and execution.

Flow Cytometry Panel Builder—Design your flow cytometry panel with this online tool for a simplified, customizable experience to fit your needs.

5 Steps Resources


Flow Cytometry Support Center—Find technical support recommendations for your flow cytometry workflows, including tips for experimental setup and in-depth troubleshooting help.

Flow Cytometry Protocols

Contact us

Not for resale. Super Bright Polymer Dyes are sold under license from Becton, Dickinson and Company.