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The LifeAct Guide: Using LifeAct in Living and Fixed Cells

To optimize the F-actin visualization in your experimental setup, ibidi has developed a broad LifeAct portfolio:

LifeAct Plasmids: A range of plasmids for transient or stable transfections of various cell types (e.g., using the Torpedo DNA transfection reagent); useful for brilliant visualization of F-actin.
LifeAct Adenoviral Vectors: Ready-to-use adenoviral vectors for efficient F-actin transduction, especially suitable for studies in difficult-to-transfect cells.  
LifeAct Lentiviral Vectors: Lentiviral vectors for easy generation of stable LifeAct-expressing cell lines with unrestricted actin functionality.
LifeAct-TagGFP2 Protein: A recombinant protein for remarkably fast staining and immediate functional analysis of F-actin in living and fixed cells.
LifeAct Stable HT-1080 Cell Line: A stable, LifeAct-expressing human fibrosarcoma cell line with full actin functionality for direct use in cell-based assays.

Find the most suitable LifeAct product for your application below.

Please note:

To readily achieve high imaging performance, transfection or transduction of LifeAct can be easily done in ibidi’s μ-Slides and μ-Dishes. Discover more in our detailed Application Notes.

For more detailed information:

Listen to ibidi’s recorded webinar "LifeAct Actin Marker: A New Tool for the Visualization of Dynamic Cellular Processes" or watch our movie, “LifeAct: Actin Marker for Live Cell Imaging (MV19)”.

Find Your LifeAct Solution for F-Actin Visualization in Living Cells

Method Suitable for 1
Cell lines
+++
+++
+++
+++
Primary cells
+
++
+++
+++
Non-mammalian cells
-
+
-
-
Transfection Stability
Transient
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Stable
Yes
No
No
Yes
Protocol and Analysis
Protocol simplicity
+++
++
+++
+++
LifeAct readout start
1–2 days
few minutes
1–2 days
1–2 days
LIfeAct readout duration
several days
(infinity if stable)
up to 1 day
several days
several days
(infinity if stable)
Signal intensity
+++
+
+++
+++
Extra Benefits
Prevention of overexpression artefacts
-
+++
+
+
Prevention of viral response
+++
+++
-
-
Biocompatibility of transfer method
+
+++
++
++
Actin functionality
+++
+++
+++
+++
Safety Consideration
Biosafety Level
BSL1
-
BSL2
BSL2


1 Not all of these combinations have been tested in all indicated cell types. We encourage you to use this table as a guideline to understand how the LifeAct system can be optimally applied.