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sticky perm cells (tween 20)- can I prevent it? - (Jun/19/2011 )

Hi all,

Sorry if this has been covered in previous posts- I can't seem to find the right search terms to locate them.

I'm staining my infected fibroblast cell line with an antibody against a viral protein. As this is obviously intracellular, I'm permeabilising my cells with 0.05% Tween 20 (in PBS with 2% NCS).

I find that after resuspending the cells in the perm buffer, they become very sticky and tend to clump together, making them difficult to resuspend as a single cell suspension.

Does anyone know if there is anything I can do to minimise or eliminate this problem- or is it just what happens once cells have been permeabilised?



Oh, and my supervisor has suggested to pass the cells through some gauze before running through the flow- but as I have a large number of samples, I'd rather avoid this if possible as it is very time consuming.


I have not stained intracellularly for fibroblasts, but usually for intracellular staining (of leukocytes) we permeabilise using cytoperm/cytofix (which you can buy from BD Biosciences) and then stain in your normal staining buffer supplemented with 0.1% saponin and 0.1% formaldehyde.