Due to hepatocytes’ variable morphology, fragile nature, and tendency to clump, traditional manual counting methods can be time-consuming and inaccurate. Because hepatocytes lose viability over time, extended or variable counting times can generate inaccurate and inconsistent viability determinations. Hepatocytes are too fragile to evaluate using flow cytometry due to flow-induced shear stress.
Dual-fluorescence Staining Procedure
For viability determination, 20 µl of hepatocyte sample is mixed with 20 µl of ViaStain™ AO/PI Staining Solution. The acridine orange (AO) dye stains DNA in all nucleated cells, generating green fluorescence and easily differentiating hepatocytes from debris. Propidium iodide (PI) stains DNA in all cells with compromised cell membranes, generating red fluorescence. In cells stained with both AO and PI, the green fluorescence is absorbed by the red fluorescence via FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer), so all dead hepatocytes fluoresce red and can be easily counted. The procedure is fast, gentle, and accurate.