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I need a dye that will stain stem cells (for this purpose the stem cells will proquired from chicken bone marrow).

This will be an educational hands on activity for young teenagers so ideally the dye should be:

  • Safe
  • Easy to handle
  • Stain quickly
  • Be relatively cheap
  • Present an obvious colour change under a low zoom microscope or the naked eye

I vaguely remember using a dye years ago that fits this bill, but cannot recall the name or company.

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There is no specific dye for stem cells. You would have to do an immuno-histochemical staining for stem cell markers such as Sox2/Oct4 etc.

Usually stem cells have a distinct morphology (round and clustered). You can use Leishman's (or Romanowsky-Giemsa) stain.

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How about Brdu...? Normally, stem cells have active proliferation, their dividing are fast, thus they could uptake Brdu, and this is one of basic stem cell test in papers. I think it isn't too expensive, comparing with antibodies.... but you may need UV-light, and don't let children play Brdu. It is carcinogen, however, I think it only a very high dose can cause a cancer...

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