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Cellular Function Assays: Apoptosis, Cell Cycle, DNA Damage

BD Biosciences

BD Biosciences’ complete portfolio of easy-to-use kits and reagents for assays of cell cycle, proliferation, DNA damage and apoptosis are designed for single-cell analysis using flow cytometry.

Single-cell phenotyping and combined measures – more data per assay

Flow cytometric assays provide rapid, quantitative data on the functional phenotype of cells. Because they provide results for each cell in your sample, rather than an average for all cells, they can capture the diversity of phenotypes in heterogeneous cell samples. Many of these assays can be combined – with one another, or with other markers – efficiently delivering more data per volume of sample, and addressing challenges of comparing data across different experiments.

Cell cycle analysis

To quickly and accurately determine the cell cycle status of individual cells within proliferating populations, DNA dye reagents or the BD Cycletest™ Plus reagent kit can be used with flow cytometry to assess ploidy, identify abnormal DNA stemlines, and estimate the DNA index (DI) and cell cycle phase distributions of stemlines.


The BD Horizon™ Violet Proliferation Dye 450 (VPD450) is a new tool for tracking cell proliferation. Enabling as efficient tracking as CFSE, it is excited by the violet laser, thus leaving the FITC/GFP channel open for other markers.

BD Pharmingen™ BrdU flow kits are designed especially for flow cytometric analysis. Offering cell-by-cell data, they also are compatible with staining other markers, eg of cell cycle progression, or cell subset markers. When combined with DNA dyes such as 7-AAD, it is possible to resolve cell cycle phases in a given cell population into G0/G1, S, and G2/M phases.


BD Biosciences offers a full range of apoptosis detection tools to monitor apoptosis at different stages, or in selected cell subsets of heterogeneous samples. Annexin V is available multiple fluorochrome conjugates, providing flexibility in designing multicolor experiments. Other markers and assays of apoptosis include BD MitoScreen Kit, for fast, easy, single cell measurement of mitochondrial membrane changes, caspase-3 Active Form PE Apoptosis Kit, or fluor-conjugated antibodies to cleaved PARP.

DNA damage

The Apoptosis, DNA Damage, and Cell Proliferation (ADDCP) Kit contains key markers for the simultaneous determination of these important cellular states by multicolor flow cytometry: Anti-H2AX (pS139) to detect DNA damage, Anti-Cleaved PARP (Asp214) for detection of apoptosis, Anti-BrdU to detect cell proliferation and the DNA dye DAPI, to assess DNA content.

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