Fluorescent staining is an advanced molecular biology technique used in pharmaceutical research to allow scientists to visualize specific cellular structures and molecules. Fluorescent staining can provide high-resolution images with great specificity, allowing researchers to study the spatial distribution, interactions, and dynamics of different cellular components in living or fixed samples. In addition, fluorescent dyes can be used in a variety of applications, such as flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), which have important applications in biomedical research. As a result, fluorescent staining has become a fundamental tool for many areas of research, including developmental biology, cancer biology, and microbiology.
Fluorescent Labeling Process
Fluorescent labeling is a process that takes a few days to complete. First, the samples need to be blocked for about 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature using a blocking buffer to prevent nonspecific binding of the antibodies. Next, the samples will be incubated with the primary antibodies overnight at 4℃ and washed the next day, before incubating the samples in the secondary antibodies for 1 hour at room temperature. The fluorescent conjugated secondary antibodies aid in the detection of the antigen by binding to the primary antibodies. Lastly, the samples will be washed to reduce background and show true staining. The samples will be visualized using a fluorescent imager.
Benefits to using Fluorescent Staining as a Visualization Tool:
- Multiplex staining – Multiple fluorescent stains being used at once allows for the detection of numerous markers.
- Quantitative analysis – The amount of a certain protein expression can be quantified based on the fluorescent stain.
- Live- cell imaging – Fluorescent staining can be done on either live or fixed samples. This allows researchers to study samples in real time if needed.
- High sensitivity – Fluorescent stains have high sensitivity, meaning they can detect even small amounts of the target.
Fluorescent Staining Disadvantages
Although there are many benefits to fluorescent staining, there are also a few disadvantages. First, there may be limited penetration if the tissue sample is too thick, and the fluorescent dyes cannot penetrate deep enough. Also, if blocking the sample does not work well, there can be high background noise which makes it difficult to differentiate the true signal from the noise. Lastly, Fluorescent dyes used in staining can be damaged by prolonged exposure to light, leading to loss of fluorescence signal over time. This process is known as photobleaching and can limit the ability to image samples for extended periods of time. Overall, the benefits of fluorescent staining outweigh the negatives, making it an important tool in research.
At Viskol we have an expert team of scientists who are trained in fluorescent staining of cells and tissues. Contact us today to work with us!