GelRed® & GelGreen® Nucleic Acid Gel Stains

GelRed® and GelGreen® are highly sensitive gel stains designed to be non-toxic and non-mutagenic by virtue of being cell membrane-impermeant, so they cannot enter living cells.

Much more sensitive than EtBr and SYBR® Safe.

Shown by Ames test and other tests to be non-mutagenic and non-cytotoxic.

Passed environmental safety tests for disposal down the drain or in regular trash.

Use in either precast or post electrophoresis staining.
Compatible with cloning and sequencing.

GelRed® & GelGreen® DNA stains are stable at room temperature for long-term storage.

Use UV and EtBr settings for GelRed®.
Use UV or blue LED for GelGreen® with SYBR® settings.

Safer alternatives to EtBr, SYBR® Safe, and others

EtBr has been the predominant dye used for nucleic acid staining for decades because of its low price and generally sufficient sensitivity. However, EtBr is a highly mutagenic material. The safety hazard and costs associated with decontamination and waste disposal can ultimately make the nucleic acid dye expensive to use. For this reason, various ethidium bromide alternative DNA gel stains have become commercially available in recent years. Although these alternative nucleic acid staining dyes are marketed as having low mutagenicity, they often have to sacrifice other aspects of the dyes. For example, SYBR® Safe has very limited sensitivity while SYBR® Green and SYBR® Gold are much less stable than EtBr. In addition, many so-called “safe” DNA dyes like Midori Green, GreenSafe, SafeView™, and RedSafe™ not only have low sensitivity, but also readily penetrate living cells to bind DNA, and some are cytotoxic. See our Gel Stains Comparison for details.

Non-toxic, non-mutagenic, and non-hazardous for disposal

To make GelRed® and GelGreen® safe, scientists at Biotium used a novel yet very simple concept: reduce genotoxicity by preventing the dyes from entering living cells. We believe that a DNA-binding dye can be made non-mutagenic or substantially so by denying its chance to be in contact with genomic DNA in living cells. Thus, we engineered the chemical structures of GelRed® and GelGreen® such that the dyes are incapable of crossing cell membranes. The Ames test confirmed that GelRed® and GelGreen® are non-mutagenic at concentrations well above their working concentrations used for gel staining. Furthermore, environmental safety tests showed that GelRed® and GelGreen® are nonhazardous and non-toxic to aquatic life. As a result, GelRed® and GelGreen® can be disposed of down the drain or thrown away in the regular trash. For more information, please download the GelRed® and GelGreen® Safety Report.

Superior sensitivity and flexible applications

GelRed® and GelGreen® are highly sensitive either as precast gel stains or post gel stains. GelRed® is much more sensitive than EtBr, and unlike SYBR® Gold, GelRed® can also be used as a highly sensitive precast gel stain. GelRed® is also available as a convenient prestain loading buffer. GelGreen® is spectrally similar to SYBR® Safe but is far more sensitive, and can be used with blue light gel imaging systems like the DarkReader®. PAGE GelRed® is designed for staining DNA in acrylamide gels. Another major advantage of GelRed® and GelGreen® DNA stain is their remarkable stability. You can store and handle the two nucleic acid staining dyes the same way you do with EtBr. For convenience, GelRed® and GelGreen® are also available in pre-coated agarose formats. For detailed protocols for use of the DNA stains, please download the GelRed® Product Information Sheet or GelGreen® Product Information Sheet.


 - More sensitive than EtBr, SYBR® Safe, and others
 - Use in precast or post-stain
 - Compatible with downstream cloning and sequencing
 - GelRed® available in 6X loading buffer format
 - PAGE GelRed® for acrylamide gels
 - GelRed®: use UV transilluminator and EtBr filter
 - GelGreen®: Use UV or blue LED and SYBR® filter, or our new Gel-Bright™ LED Illuminator