Fluorescein isothiocyanate

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A fluorescent dye used to detect proteins. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) is used in biochemistry for the detection of pathogens. It has also been used to detect proteins in paint cross sections (Wolbers et al 1990). However, one study has shown that FITC can also fluoresce with oil and acrylic media (Messinger 1992). FITC is sometimes incorrectly called fluorescein.

Synonyms and Related Terms

FITC; 5-FITC; 2-(6-hydroxy-3-oxo-(3H)-xanthene-9-yl)-5-isothiocyanato benzoic acid

Chemical structure

Fluorescein isothiocyanate.jpg

Other Properties

Soluble in water, dimethyl formamide, dimethyl sulfoxide.

Maximum absorption wavelength = 490 nm

Maximum emission wavelength = 520 nm

Composition C21H11NO5S
CAS 3326-32-7
Melting Point >360
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 389.38

Hazards and Safety

Skin contact causes irritation.

Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Additional Information

° R. Wolbers, N. Sterman, C. Stavroudis, "Notes for Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings", Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1990.

° J.Messinger, "Ultraviolet-Fluorescence Microscopy of Paint Cross Sections: Cycloheptaamylose-Dansyl Chloride Complex as a Protein-Selective Stain" JAIC 31:267-74, 1992.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Richard C. Wolbers, Nanette T. Sterman, Chris Stavroudis, Notes for Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings, J.Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 1990 Comment: mean excitation wavelength = 490 nm -blue and mean emission wavelength = 525 nm
  • Aldrich Chemical Catalog Comment: p. 725 - max=499
  • Website address 1 Comment: www.mdyn.com/application_notes/technotes - gives max abs =490 and max emission = 520
  • Website address 2 Comment: pingu.salk.edu/fcm/fluo.html - gives excitation and emisson as 495, 519
  • Website address 3 Comment: www.probes.com/handbook/sections - gives abs and emission as 494, 518