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ViaQuant™ Fixable Dead Cell Assay


Our ViaQuant™ Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kits are designed for discrimination between live and dead cells during flow cytometry or microscopy. The assays are based on the reaction of a fluorescent reactive dye with cellular amines. The reactive dye can permeate the compromised membranes of necrotic cells and react with free amines both in the interior and on the cell surface, resulting in intense fluorescent staining. In contrast, only the cell-surface amines of viable cells are available to react with the dye, resulting in relatively dim staining (Figure 1). The discrimination is completely preserved following fixation of the sample by formaldehyde. Moreover, the single-color assay uses only one channel of a flow cytometer, leaving the other channels available for multicolor experiments.


  • Bright fluorescence signal
  • Stable, fluorescence retain after fix and permeabilization

Figure 1. Principle of live/dead cell discrimination using ViaQuant™ Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kits. Our ViaQuant™ stains are cell-membrane impermeable amine-reactive dyes. The dyes can penetrate the compromised cell membranes of dead cells and label intracellular proteins. In live cells, the dyes only label cell surface proteins, resulting in much lower fluorescence signal compared to dead cells. The dye labeling is covalent, allowing cells to be fixed and permeabilized for subsequent intracellular antibody staining without loss of fluorescence or dye transfer between cells.

Selection Guide for ViaQuant™ Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kits

Cat. No. Product Name Laser Line Emission Filter
A020 ViaQuant™ Blue Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kit 355 nm DAPI
A021 ViaQuant™ Violet Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kit 405 nm DAPI
A022 ViaQuant™ Green Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kit 488 nm FITC
A023 ViaQuant™ Far-Red Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kit 633 nm Cy5

Figure 2. Flow cytometry analysis of live and dead cells stained with ViaQuant™ Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kits. Jurkat cells were either left untreated or killed by heating, then stained with ViaQuant™ kits (A020, A021, A022, A023), respectively. Fluorescence was analyzed on a BD LSRII flow cytometer.