What Exactly are Fluorescent Probes?
It is not so shocking that not a lot of people have heard about these, so I will try to simplify. Fluorescent probes (also known as fluorophores) are a molecule that follows a process known as Fluorescence. Meaning that they are able to absorb certain wavelengths of light, and then, later on, emits a longer wavelength. This is why if you ever see a creature that is bioluminescent, it will most likely glow blue, purple, or green.
This is all interesting to know, but why should you care?
Well, these probes are used to study biological samples. In fact, their use in biology research is not only standard but has also been growing over time. The Fluorophores attach to other molecules and is used as a sort of marker when analyzing it. They are commonly used to find out where proteins are, as well as to know when they are being activated. You do have to work quickly when using these, as they only last a few picoseconds, with the exception of some premium brands, which can last for a couple of seconds at most.
However, one of the most common things that it is using for is as a dye. These dyes are then used to stain microscopic images in order to create a contrast. This makes the molecules under the microscope far easier to see and study. This can help to advance the field of molecular biology, even more so than it has been in the recent years.
Alexa Fluor Dyes
You Can Download A PDF Here: alexa fluor dyes PDF document
One of the dyes that I want to talk about is the Alexa Fluor Dyes. Alexa Fluor is a family of fluorescent dyes that can be purchased through the company Fluoroprobes. They are often used in cell and tissue labels when it comes to cell biology. They can be used in primary and secondary antibodies to amplify not only their signal but their sensitivity when excited. This can allow you to be able to use them in all ranges of the light spectrum, from red to purple.
There are also many reasons why you would want to choose this kind if dye over that of it’s competition. Not only can be used in a wide variety of colors, allowing you to be able to separate certain segments of the molecules from others, but it is also much brighter than others. This makes it far easier to be able to tell where the fluorophores are and to tell the difference between the colors, as they are more able to be distinct from one another.
Common Alexa Fluor Dyes:
• Alexa Fluor 488
• Alexa Fluor 594
• Alexa Fluor 488 Phalloidin
• Alexa Fluor 488 NHS Ester
• Alexa Fluor 594 Dye
• Alexa Fluor 594 Phalloidin
• Alexa Fluor 594 c5 Maleimide
You Can Download A PDF Here About Fluorophores: fluorophores pdf guide
Another aspect this specific family of dyes has is that it has great photostability. This means that it is able to stay bright for longer, giving you more time for your research than any of the competing brands. This means that they are better at stability, brightness, and contrast than other dyes in the industry. So if you need to single out specific molecules or proteins in your line of work, you should consider this brand in particular.
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