VECTASHIELD® HardSet™ Antifade Mounting Medium


Still using VECTASHIELD HardSet?

Try our upgraded product VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ Antifade Mounting Medium

SKU Unit Size Price Qty
H-1400-10 10 ml

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VECTASHIELD HardSet Antifade Mounting Medium is a unique, stable formula for preserving fluorescence. This medium prevents rapid photobleaching of fluorescent proteins and fluorescent dyes. VECTASHIELD HardSet Mounting Medium hardens after coverslipping. After approximately 15 minutes at room temperature, the coverslip will become immobilized, and optimal antifade ability and refractive index will be achieved.



  • Inhibits photobleaching of dyes and fluorescent proteins
  • Ideal refractive index
  • Ready to use
  • No warming necessary
  • Offered with nuclear or cytoskeletal counterstains
  • Available in hardening formulation
  • Can be stored without sealing for long term analysis
  • Easy to use


More Information
Unit Size 10 ml
Applications Immunofluorescence, In situ hybridization, Cellular Imaging
Mounting Aqueous (Hardening)
Antifade Yes
Counterstain None


Product FAQs

I am using VECTASHIELD® HardSet™ Mounting Medium with DAPI (Cat No. H-1500). The sections look good initially, however I do see bubble or vacuole formation occur under the coverslip after some time. Do you have any suggestions on how this situation can be remedied?

Fixed, thin cut (<10 um), glass mounted sections are recommended to be used in combination with this medium. Unfixed material, thicker sections or the use of gasket or chamber slides or well formats may increase the incidence of bubble formation when applying H-1500. If using thin sections as described, ensure an adequate volume of the medium is being applied to spread out under the coverslip. Storage of slides in the freezer (-20 °C) may also reduce the incidence of bubbles. For existing mounted sections with bubble formation, coverslips can be removed by soaking the slides in buffer, and then remounted using fresh media.

Does VECTASHIELD contain glycerol?

All of the VECTASHIELD formats we currently offer which includes regular non-setting VECTASHIELD, PLUS, HardSet and Vibrance formulations each contain a percentage of glycerol.

Do I need to dehydrate the tissue sections before applying VECTASHIELD?

No form of tissue dehydration (e.g. air drying or ethanol exposure) is required nor recommended when applying VECTASHIELD. From our experience, the most optimal antifade actions of VECTASHIELD are obtained when the preparation is removed from the final buffer/water rinse, kept slightly wet/moist and then coverslipped with a small volume (25-50 uL) of VECTASHIELD.

Do I need to seal the perimeter of the coverslip after I apply VECTASHIELD?

That depends upon how long you wish to retain the slides and which VECTASHIELD formulation you are using. If you are using one of our non-setting VECTASHIELD products such as H-1000/H-1200 or H-1900/H-2000, then we suggest sealing the coverslip with plastic sealant or nail polish if you intend to keep the slides beyond a day or so. If you are using one of our setting/curing formulations such as VECTASHIELD HardSet or Vibrance, then in most cases when using thin cut (<10 um) tissue sections or cell monolayers, no sealing of the coverslip is requuired.


Technical Information

VECTASHIELD Mounting Media are compatible with a wide array of fluorochromes, enzymatic substrates, and fluorescent proteins. Please consult the compatibility table (in the "Documents" section) to determine if VECTASHIELD will be compatible in your system.

All formulations of VECTASHIELD Antifade Mounting Media are available with or without DAPI (4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) counterstain.  The DAPI concentration can be modified by mixing with the corresponding VECTASHIELD Mounting Medium without DAPI.  DAPI produces a blue fluorescence when bound to DNA with excitation at about 360 nm and emission at 460 nm.

R.J. Florijn, et. al. Cytometry, 19 (1995) 177-182.

Refractive index is 1.46.

VECTASHIELD Mounting Medium Antifade Comparison

Other manufacturers measure the antifade properties of their mountants using labeled microspheres or arrayed spots. Vector Labs prefers to measure antifade properties of VECTASHIELD mountants using frozen tissue sections immunohistochemically stained with fluorescently labeled secondary antibodies. Antifade capability is measured using a 40x objective with real time imaging over 30 seconds of continuous exposure to the excitation illumination. Individual intensity measurements are recorded from 6 separate labeled regions and the average is calculated. The intensity after 30 second exposure is expressed as a percentage of the intensity at zero time. The values for PG are taken from the manufacturer s published results.

VECTASHIELD Antifade Comparison
VECTASHIELD HardSet Antifade properties
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