Living sensory cells were isolated from the cristae ampullaris and macula utriculi of the guinea pig. Enzymatic and mechanical dissociation were used to obtain different populations of hair cells, the most predominant being type I cells. Their form varied: cell body of variable roundness, and neck and cilia of different lengths. The observation of many tilted cuticular plates supports the hypothesis of active mechanisms regulating mechanotransduction at the apex of these cells. Cell viability was verified by double fluorescent labeling (FDA-PI), which indicated that under correct conditions about 90% of the sensory cells could be maintained in vitro for several hours after dissociation. The detection of actin in the cuticular plate and cilia shows that the technique has various potential applications in morphological studies, and can contribute to investigations on the physiology of mammalian vestibular cells.