Histogram of 2 distinct peaks of viable/live cells and dead cell

Cell viability assays for flow cytometry are reliable methods to distinguish live and dead cell populations. Removing dead and dying cells from your flow cytometry data is critical to enable the accuracy of your results and analysis. Dead cells often give false positive results, as a compromised cell membrane allows for internalization and non-specific binding of many reagents.

Flow cytometry viability stains are available for use with fixable and non-fixable cell samples in a broad range of color options that are compatible with most instrument configurations.

LIVE/DEAD fixable viability dyesCell viability assaysLIVE/DEAD cell viability assaysBacterial viability and vitality assaysYeast viability and vitality assays
Amine-reactive dyesNucleic acid binding dyesEnzymatic substratesMammalian kits
Bacterial kits
Yeast kits
Bacterial kitsYeast kits
FixableNon-fixableNon-fixableNon-fixableNon-fixable; fixableNon-fixable
Cell-impermeantCell-impermeantCell-permeantCell-impermeant; cell-permeantCell-impermeant; Cell-permeantCell-impermeant; Cell-permeant
  • Reacts with cellular amine proteins
  • Based on membrane integrity
  • Reacts with cellular enzymes
  • Based on membrane integrity
  • Reacts with cellular enzymes
  • Indicator of metabolic activity
  • Based on membrane integrity
  • Indicator of reductase activity
  • Evaluates respiratory activity
  • Based on membrane integrity
  • Reacts with cellular enzymes
Dead cellsDead cellsLive cellsLive cells; Dead cellsLive cells; Dead cellsLive cells; Dead cells
UV—Near IRUV, Violet, Blue, Yellow, RedUV, Violet, Blue, YellowViolet, Blue, YellowViolet, Blue, YellowBlue, Yellow


Fluorophore and reagent selection guide for flow cytometry

Download Flow Cytometry Protocols Handbook

Spectral Flow Cytometry Fundamentals


Invitrogen eBioscience Resources—Selection guides, Best Protocols, product performance and more.

Intracellular Staining for Flow Cytometry How-To Video—for detecting cytokines and intranuclear markers.

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 Panel Design Support—Work with one of our technical sales specialists to discuss your experimental needs and guide you through the process.

Flow Cytometry Protocols

Flow Cytometry Application Notes and Posters

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