UNIT 9.39 Ex Vivo Imaging of Excised Tissue Using Vital Dyes and Confocal Microscopy

  1. Simon Johnson,
  2. Peter Rabinovitch

Published Online: 1 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471142956.cy0939s61

Current Protocols in Cytometry

Current Protocols in Cytometry

How to Cite

Johnson, S. and Rabinovitch, P. 2012. Ex Vivo Imaging of Excised Tissue Using Vital Dyes and Confocal Microscopy. Current Protocols in Cytometry. 61:9.39:9.39.1–9.39.18.

Author Information

  1. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2012
  2. Published Print: JUL 2012


Vital dyes routinely used for staining cultured cells can also be used to stain and image live tissue slices ex vivo. Staining tissue with vital dyes allows researchers to collect structural and functional data simultaneously and can be used for qualitative or quantitative fluorescent image collection. The protocols presented here are useful for structural and functional analysis of viable properties of cells in intact tissue slices, allowing for the collection of data in a structurally relevant environment. With these protocols, vital dyes can be applied as a research tool to disease processes and properties of tissue not amenable to cell culture–based studies. Curr. Protoc. Cytom. 61:9.39.1-9.39.18. © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • vital dyes;
  • confocal microscopy;
  • live cell staining;
  • tissue imaging