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Fluorochrome chart – a complete guide

A quick and easy guide to help you select the most appropriate fluorochromes for your next experiment.

by Javier Conde Vancells

Our new fluorochrome chart includes

  • Aligned emission and excitation fluorescence spectra for 30 of the most commonly-used flow cytometry fluorochromes including tandem dyes
  • Easy visualization of some of the most popular lasers and filters across the fluorescence spectra
  • The fluorescence channel and relative brightness for each of the fluorochromes
  • A short guide with examples

Download the fluorochrome chart here

The fluorochrome chart is also available on our iPhone app, which you can download for free here.

Fluorescent dyes (also known as fluorochromes) are commonly used as detection reagents in a variety of applications such as cellular imaging and flow cytometry. Fluorochromes absorb light energy of a specific wavelength and re-emit it at a longer wavelength. The wavelengths at which the fluorochrome absorbs and emits light constitute what is known as the fluorochrome’s excitation and emission spectra respectively (or just fluorescence spectra).

Flow cytometers or other instruments that require the use of fluorescent dyes are equipped with lasers that produce light at a certain wavelength so they can excite fluorochromes capable of absorbing light at that specific wavelength. The light that the fluorochrome emits is then filtered so each sensor will detect fluorescence only within the range that the filter allows. This fluorescence is the read-out signal provided by the instrument.

Many different fluorochromes have been developed, each one with a particular emission and excitation fluorescence spectra. Fluorescent dyes that absorb and emit light at specific wavelengths across the whole visible spectrum, including the infrared region, are now commercially available. Moreover, fluorochromes differ in the intensity at which they emit light. The brightness of the fluorochrome will depend on its ability to absorb light and the efficiency at which the absorbed light is converted into emitted light.

Selecting the right fluorochrome for the next experiment may seem a difficult task if you do not have the adequate tools. The task becomes even harder when planning a multicolor experiment that requires two or more fluorochromes. In multicolor experiments, you have to watch for spectral overlap between fluorochromes and other factors in order to minimize potential problems such as fluorescence spillover.

As comprehensive as they might be, fluorochrome tables only provide limited information in regards to many of these factors. Thus, we have put together a new fluorochrome chart to guide you through each of the steps involved in selecting a fluorochrome. Our new guide will make the process quick and easy.

Download the fluorochrome chart here