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PKH26GL Sigma

PKH26 Red Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for General Cell Membrane Labeling

Distributed for Phanos Technologies



Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions are available for this Product.


For additional technical details on PKH and CellVue® Fluorescent Cell Linker Dyes including an extensive bibliography, please visit here.


This kit is for general cell membrane labeling. It has been characterized in a number of model systems and has been found to be useful for in vitro cell labeling, in vitro proliferation studies and long term, in vivo cell tracking. The half-life for elution of PKH26 from labeled rabbit red blood cells is greater than 100 days. This enhanced stability is favorable for long term in vivo studies.

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CellVue is a registered trademark of PTI Research, Inc.

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Standard component


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Diluent C 6 x 10 mL SDS    
PKH26 Cell Linker in ethanol .5 mL SDS    
Safety & Documentation

Safety Information

Signal word 
Hazard statements 
UN 3316 9
Flash Point(F) 
57.2 °F
Flash Point(C) 
14 °C

Frequently Asked Questions

Which document(s) contains shelf-life or expiration date information for a given product?
If available for a given product, the recommended re-test date or the expiration date can be found on the Certificate of Analysis. These documents are located on the product detail page under Useful Links & Tools. Click on the following link to search for a Certificate of Analysis. Please click the following link to see the details on our Product Dating Information.
Does the dye leak from the cells after labeling when using Product PKH67GL, PKH67 Green Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for General Cell Membrane Labeling?
In general, slow loss of fluorescence has been observed with PKH1 and PKH2 in in vivo studies and it is likely that PKH67 may also slowly lose fluorescence. Leakage (or loss of staining intensity) may also occur due to cell-to-cell transfer of the dye. The most common cause of cell-to-cell dye transfer is inadequate washing of the cells. Wash cells 3-5 times after labeling and transfer samples to new tubes between washes.
When using Product PKH67GL, PKH67 Green Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for General Cell Membrane Labeling, how long will the cells remain stained after treatment?
Labeled cells that have been washed can be visualized in culture up to 100 days after staining (for non-dividing cells). The dye itself is stable and will divide equally when the cells divide. After staining with PKH dyes, you can observe as many as 8 divisions depending on how brightly the cells were stained initially and the amount of surface area on the cells. Most commonly, 4-6 divisions can be visualized.
What is the difference between PKH26 Red Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for Phagocytic Cell Labeling Products PKH26GL and PKH26PCL?
The general labeling kit (Product No. PKH26GL) will label the membrane of the cells.  For phagocytic cells, Product No. PKH26PCL is used.  This kit utilizes dye aggregates for specific labeling of phagocytic cells in the presence of other cell types.
Will Product PKH26GL, PKH26 Red Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for Phagocytic Cell Labeling Products, stain dead cells?
As long as the cell has an intact membrane, the PKH26 dye can label the cell.
Are cells lost during the PKH67 Green Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for General Cell Membrane Labeling staining process?
Over-labeling of the cells will result in loss of membrane integrity and reduced cell recovery.  Methods for improving cell viability can be found on the troubleshooting guide; see the link below: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/etc/medialib/docs/Sigma/Bulletin/pkh67glbul.Par.0001.File.tmp/pkh67glbul.pdf
How many cells can be stained with PKH26 Red Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for General Cell Membrane Labeling, Products PKH26GL and MINI26?
For Product PKH26GL, when using the concentrations indicated in the product bulletin, you can stain 30 samples (1x107 cells/sample). The kit provides 500 ul of PKH26 dye solution.  You use 4 ul per sample.  There is enough dye in the kit to stain 125 samples. The kit provides 60 mls of Diluent C.  You use 2 mls per sample (1 ml for dilution of the dye, 1 ml for dilution of the cells).  There is enough diluent for 30 samples. You can purchase additional diluent as Product CGLDIL If you need less dye, you can purchase Product MINI26 which contains 100 ul of dye and 10 mls of Diluent C.  This kit contains enough dye to stain 25 samples and enough diluent to stain 5 samples.
Product PKH26GL, PKH26 Red Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for General Cell Membrane Labeling, is a red dye.  Do you offer a kit that stains the cells green?
We offer Product numbers:PKH2GL http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/search/ProductDetail/SIGMA/PKH2GLPKH67GL http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/search/ProductDetail/SIGMA/PKH67GL Both of these kits stain the cells with a dye that emits in the green fluorescent range.
What method of fixation can be used for tissue/cells with the PKH Fluorescent Cell Linker Kit for General Cell Membrane Labeling dyes?
A protocol for visualization of tissue sections can be found in the technical bulletin.  For visualization of stained cells by immunofluorescence or flow cytometry, the cells can be fixed in 2% paraformaldehyde for 15 minutes. The use of other organic solvents will extract the dye from the cells.  If internal labeling is desired, the cells can be permeabilized with saponin (50-75 µg/mL). Here is the link to the Troubleshooting Guide.  
How do I get lot-specific information or a Certificate of Analysis?
A Certificate of Analysis is available by lot number and can be obtained through our Advanced Search Option: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/AdvancedSearchPage.do
How do I find price and availability?
There are several ways to find pricing and availability for our products.  Once you log onto our website, you will find the price and availability displayed on the product detail page. You can contact any of our Customer Sales and Service offices to receive a quote.  USA customers:  1-800-325-3010 or view local office numbers. 
What is the Department of Transportation shipping information for this product?
Transportation information can be found in Section 14 of the product's (M)SDS. To access the shipping information for this material, use the link on the product detail page for the product, or search here. 
My question is not addressed here, how can I contact Technical Service for assistance?
Use the option to the right to "Ask a Question" by email of a Technical Service Scientist.
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Protocols & Articles


Cell Tracking with Lipophilic Membrane Dyes: Applications in Cancer Research

Because lipophilic cell tracking dyes such as PKH26, PKH67, and CellVue® Claret can be used to label almost any cell, they have enabled cancer biologists to track a wide variety of tumor and immune c...
Katharine A. Muirhead§, Joseph D. Tario, Jr.†, Paul K. Wallace†
Biowire Spring 2011 — Cell Lines — Models of Disease
Keywords: Adhesion, Asymmetric synthesis, Cancer, Capillary electrophoresis, Cell disruption, Cell division, Cell proliferation, Clinical, Flow cytometry, Gene expression, Immunology, PAGE, Polymerase chain reaction, Solvents, Titrations

Cell Tracking with Lipophilic Membrane Dyes: Applications in Cancer Research

From our library of Articles, Sigma-Aldrich presents Cell Tracking with Lipophilic Membrane Dyes: Applications in Cancer Research
Keywords: Antivirals, Applications, Biowire, Buffers, Bulletins, Cancer, Capillary electrophoresis, Cell disruption, Cell proliferation, Clinical, Flow cytometry, Immunology, Methods, Molecular probes, Protocols, Type

PKH Bibliography

U.S. Patent 5,665,328 Distributed for Phanos Technologies, Inc. CellVue is a registered trademark of PTI Research, Inc. used under license.
Keywords: AGE, Adhesion, Amplification, Angiogenesis, Antibiotics, Antitumor agents, Antivirals, Apoptosis, Atomic absorption spectroscopy, Biomaterials, Cancer, Capillary electrophoresis, Cell culture, Cell disruption, Cell division, Cell proliferation, Central Nervous System, Clinical, Eliminations, Endocrinology, Filtration, Flow cytometry, Gene expression, Growth factors, Immobilization, Immunology, Inflammation, Ion-exchange chromatography, Ligands, Magnetic resonance imaging, Mass spectrometry, Metabolites, Microscopy, Molecular biology, Reductions, Rheumatology, Transduction, Western blot

PKH Linker Kits

Many key research findings in cell function and pathogenesis have relied on labeling live cells. To study individual cell behavior, growth and differentiation, and cell-cell interactions, it is criti...
BioFiles 2007, 2.5, 22.
Keywords: Adhesion, Apoptosis, Cancer, Cell biology, Cell proliferation

PKH and CellVue® Claret Fluorescent Cell Linker Dyes

Interested in receiving more content like this? Join over 8,000 of your peers who have already signed up for the Cell Informer newsletter.
Keywords: Cell division, Immunofluorescence

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Cell Division Monitoring using Cell Tracking Dyes [VIDEO]

Fluorescent cell tracking dyes, in combination with flow and image cytometry, are powerful tools with which to study the interactions and fates of different cell types in vitro and in vivo.1-5 Althou...
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