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When conducting any experiment involving cell culture work, it is imperative to know and understand the overall health-status of the cell population before any treatment protocols are implemented. As you begin your experiment, make sure to consider the following questions:

1. What are my cells exposed to? Exposure to biological or chemical compounds can have unintended cytotoxic effects on cell cultures.

2. Are my cells being grown in ideal conditions? Cells grown under less than ideal conditions can exhibit less than ideal behaviors. For example, maintaining cells at a cell density that is too low or too high can lead to problematic cell-to-cell communication which could have unforeseen effects on experimental results.

3. Will the current state of my cell culture affect my experimental outcome? As cell death is often an experimental outcome, the ability to further identify the type of cell death occurring within a population is key for properly interpreting the data.

Taking these under consideration, there is a clear need for simple and straightforward tools capable of assessing how cells are dying. ICT’s new Apoptosis vs Necrosis Detection Kit allows for the simultaneous identification of cells that are healthy, entering early apoptosis, late apoptosis, or have become necrotic. In this kit, detection of cell membrane integrity loss, indicative of necrosis or late-stage apoptosis, is facilitated by the addition of the vital staining dye, 7-aminoactinomycin D (7-AAD), a red fluorescing live/dead stain.

Necrosis vs Apoptosis

Fluorescence microscopy imaging of apoptotic cells stained with the Necrosis vs. Apoptosis Kit.

For more details, read our GEN article “How healthy is my cell culture? New research tools assess overall cell health.