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What does trypan blue do?

Posted October 26, 2022


Answer

Trypan blue is a dye used to determine cell viability by staining dead cells and tissues. In a live cell, trypan blue is not able to penetrate the cell membrane. On the other hand, trypan blue can penetrate through the cell membrane of a dead cell and enter the cytoplasm. Therefore, the blue color can only be seen with dead cells. Trypan blue has a wide range of uses including cell counting, dying cotton textiles, and can also be used in cataract surgery.

Additional resources

Cell Viability Assays

Trypan UltraBlue™, sodium salt *0.1 M aqueous solution*

Trypan Blue Dye Enters Viable Cells Incubated with the Pore-Forming Toxin HlyII of Bacillus cereus