AAT Bioquest

What are the common cell stains?

Posted December 2, 2022


Common cell stains include: DAPI, Crystal Violet, Hematoxylin, Eosin  Coomassie Blue, Rhodamine, Methylene Blue, Safranin, Ethidium Bromide, Nile blue, Fuchsin. DAPI is a fluorescent nuclear stain that is excited by UV light, and emits blue fluorescence when bound to DNA; it can be utilized in living or fixed cells. Crystal violet stains cells purple when combined with a dye fixative; it is utilized in Gram staining. Coomassie Blue stains a brilliant blue and is typically used in agarose gel electrophoresis. Rhodamine is a protein-specific fluorescent stain used in fluorescence microscopy. Methylene Blue stains animal cells to make nuclei more visible; it is also used in certain medicines. Ethidium bromide stains unhealthy cells in the last stages of apoptosis fluorescent red-orange. Nile blue stains nuclei blue and can be used on living cells. Safranin is used as a counterstain or to color collagen yellow. Fuchsin is used to stain mitochondria, smooth muscle, or stain collagen. Hematoxylin stains proteins a blue color, while Eosin stains them pink. They are both used to visualize intracellular organelles.  

Additional resources

Histology, Staining

Cell Structures and Organelles

DAPI [4,6-Diamidino-2-phenylindole, dihydrochloride] *CAS 28718-90-3*