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Trypan blue & methylene blue - both to measure cell viability? (Sep/29/2007 )


I´m a bit confused with these 2 dyes. I know that Trypan blue is one of the most used method to asess cell viability but... is also valid methylene blue? I have stained my primary neurons with both dyes and I saw less bright cells when usign trypan; so I thought it was more specific to see dead and live cells, while methylene could be useful to stain cells but it´s more unespecific. Could you help me with this doubt?


Trypan blue is excluded by living membranes so it stains dead cells blue. Methylene blue is a general cell stain, should stain pretty much everything.


Indeed! We use trypan blue to asses viability, while we use methylene blue to stain colonies.
So if you are interested in "seeing" death cells trypan blue is the proper dye.