In addition to primary antibodies, a number of dyes or probes can be used to specifically stain subcellular structures. These can be used across a wide variety of microscopy applications, including counterstaining the nucleus or identifying general cytoplasmic structure. Explore our available cell stains below.

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Nucleic Acid Stains

Permeant and impermeant nucleic acid stains are an excellent tool for visualizing the location and number of cells in a sample and providing spatial context for the antigens of interest. In a live-cell imaging application, an impermeant nucleic acid stain like DRAQ7™Helix NP™ BlueGreen or NIR can be paired with a permeant nucleic acid stain like DAPICytoPhase™ Violetor DRAQ5™ to assess the live to dead cell ratio.

Learn more about Non-Antibody Chemical Probes.

Actin Stains

Phalloidin is a bicyclic peptide found in death cap mushrooms that binds very tightly to F-actin, preventing its depolymerization in living cells. In cellular imaging, fluorescently conjugated phalloidins are useful for imaging the fine filaments of actin, providing structural and volumetric context to the cell. BioLegend offers our proprietary probes Flash Phalloidin™ Red 594, and Green 488 for identifying F-actin structures.

Learn more about Non-Antibody Chemical Probes.

Mitochondrial Stains

Fluorogenic chemical reagents that are attracted to the polarization of the mitochondrial membrane make ideal probes for imaging mitochondrial localization in microscopy. Initially, the cells must be live while labeling, getting excellent signal at low concentrations. However, MitoSpy™ probes, like MitoSpy™ Orange CMTMRos and MitoSpy™ Red CMXRos, can be retained with an aldehyde-based fixative when incubated at higher concentrations of the probe in order to be combined with intracellular antibody detection. MitoSpy™ Green FMand MitoSpy NIR™ DiIC1(5) are only useful for useful for mitochondrial localization in live cells. 

Learn more about MitoSpy™ Probes.

Long Term Protein Stains for Cell Tracking and Proliferation

CFDA-SE (CFSE), and Tag-it Violet™ are cell permeant protein stains that can be used for cell proliferation and tracking in microscopy applications. Zombie Dyes are reagents that label all cells through a covalent attachment to cell surface amine-containing proteins, offering a long-term cell tracking alternative without intracellular delivery or cytotoxicity. Cells can proliferate uninhibited until the signal intensity becomes too diluted. 

Learn more about Non-Antibody Chemical Probes.

Reagents for Chromogenic IHC

Chromogenic detection methods have a long history in histology and pathology applications. Commonly used in chromogenic IHC are antibodies or streptavidin covalently attached with HRP or AlkPhos, that convert a substrate like DABAECor BCIP/NBT. These enzymes catalyze their substrates, leaving a deposit of color where the antibody has attached to the cell or tissue. BioLegend provides a variety of accessory reagents for performing IHC including the Retrieve-All Antigen Unmasking SystemUltra-Streptavidin (USA) HRP Detection Kits, and ACUITYAdvanced Biotin Free Polymer Detection Kits

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