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Product overview

  • Name
  • Short description

    Blue fluorescent DNA stain. Nuclear counterstain.

  • Biological description


    DAPI is a blue fluorescent DNA stain which is cell permeant at high concentrations.

    DAPI binds strongly to A-T rich regions in DNA to form a fluorescent complex. It preferentially stains ds-DNA and has a high quantum yield (φf=0.92) when bound to DNA.

    Uses and applications

    DAPI is commonly used as a nuclear and chromosome counterstain.

    It is preferentially used to stain dead cells. DAPI is less effective as a live cell stain as it is unable to efficiently pass through the membrane in live cells. Therefore, higher concentrations may need to be used.

    Cells must be permeabilized and/or fixed for DAPI to enter the cell and bind to DNA.

    Due to DAPI’s blue emission, there is very little fluorescent overlap between yellow-fluorescent, green-florescent molecules (e,g, fluorescein and GFP) or red-fluorescent stains (e.g. Texas red). It is therefore convenient for multiplexing assays.

    DAPI has a great variety of applications but is often used for cell imaging, cell counting, cell sorting (based on DNA content), apoptosis analysis and in HCA (high-content analysis).

  • Biological action
    Dyes & stains
  • Purity
  • Citations


  • Chemical name
    4',6-Diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride
  • Molecular Weight
  • Chemical structure
    DAPI  [28718-90-3]
  • Molecular Formula
  • CAS Number
  • PubChem identifier
  • InChiKey
  • MDL number
  • Excitation
    340 / 360nM (for ds-DNA)
  • Emission
    488 / 460nM (for ds-DNA)

Storing and Using Your Product

  • Storage instructions
  • Solubility overview
    Soluble in water (10mg/ml, gentle warming), and in methanol
  • Important
    This product is for RESEARCH USE ONLY and is not intended for therapeutic or diagnostic use. Not for human or veterinary use.

References for DAPI

  • DAPI: a DNA-specific fluorescent probe.

    Kapuscinski J (1995) Biotech Histochem 70(5) : 220-33.
    PubMedID: 8580206
  • Labeling nuclear DNA using DAPI.

    Chazotte B (2011) Cold Spring Harb Protoc 2011(1) : pdb.prot5556.
    PubMedID: 21205856
  • New insights into the in situ microscopic visualization and quantification of inorganic polyphosphate stores by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI)-staining.

    Gomes FM et al (2013) Eur J Histochem 57(4) : e34.
    PubMedID: 24441187
  • DAPI as a useful stain for nuclear quantitation.

    Tarnowski et al (1991) Biotech Histochem 66(6) : 297-302
    PubMedID: 1725854
  • Labeling nuclear DNA using DAPI.

    Chazotte et al (2011) Cold Spring Harb Protoc 2011(1) : 5556
    PubMedID: 21205856
  • DAPI: a DNA-specific fluorescent probe.

    Kapuscinski et al (1995) Biotech Histochem 70(5) : 220-33.
    PubMedID: 8580206
  • Visualizing chromatin and chromosomes in living cells.

    Zink et al (2003) Methods 29(1) : 42-50
    PubMedID: 12543070
  • The use of DAPI fluorescence lifetime imaging for investigating chromatin condensation in human chromosomes.

    Estandarte et al (2016) Sci Rep. 16 : 6-31417
    PubMedID: 27526631
  • Analysis of Apoptosis and Necroptosis by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting.

    Wallberg et al (2016) Cold Spring Harb Protoc 4 : 087387
    PubMedID: 27037070
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