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Fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran

average mol wt 40,000

CAS Number:
MDL number:

Quality Level

biological source

bacterial (Leuconostoc mesenteroides)


FITC conjugate



mol wt

average mol wt 40,000

extent of labeling

0.001-0.020 mol FITC per mol glucose


H2O: 25 mg/mL

storage temp.


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General description

Dextran is a polymer of anhydroglucose. It is composed of approximately 95% alpha-D-(166) linkages. The remaining (163) linkages account for the branching of dextran. Conflicting data on the branch lengths implies that the average branch length is less than three glucose units. However, other methods indicate branches of greater than 50 glucose units exist. Native dextran has been found to have a molecular weight (MW) in the range of 9 million to 500 million. Lower MW dextrans will exhibit slightly less branching and have a more narrow range of MW distribution. Dextrans with MW greater than 10,000 behave as if they are highly branched. As the MW increases, dextran molecules attain greater symmetry. Dextrans with MW of 2,000 to 10,000, exhibit the properties of an expandable coil. At MW below 2,000, dextran is more rod-like. The MW of dextran is measured by one or more of the following methods: low angle laser light scattering, size exclusion chromatography, copper-complexation and anthrone reagent colorometric reducing-end sugar determination and viscosity.


FITC-dextran is used in cardiovascular, microcirculation, perfusion, cell monolayer and cell membrane permeability research as fluorescent flux tracer compound that supports the measurement of processes such as blood flow, membrane damage, vascular drainage and renal elimination. Small FITC-dextrans are also used to measure processes such as endocytosis. Fluorescein-dextran, 40 kDa, may be used for the study of cell endocytic activity. FITC-dextran-40 may be used to study endothelial monolayer porosity and apical-basolateral movements within cell layers.
FITC-dextran is used extensively in microcirculation and cell permeability research utilizing microfluorimetry. FITC-dextran has been used to study plant cell wall porosity and capillary permeability. Plasma proteins have been shown not to bind to FITC-dextran.
Dextran labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate for possible use in perfusion studies in animals.

Preparation Note

Sigma typically tests the solubility of FITC dextrans in water at concentrations at or above 25 mg/ml. Solutions should be protected from light. In vivo, FITC-dextran is stable for more than 24 hours.


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Hazard Statements

Hazard Classifications

Eye Irrit. 2 - Skin Irrit. 2 - STOT SE 3

Target Organs

Respiratory system

Storage Class Code

11 - Combustible Solids



Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US),Eyeshields,Gloves

Certificate of Analysis

Certificate of Origin

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FITC-labelled polysaccharides

Additional information about FITC-labelled polysaccarides including FITC-Dextran, FITC-DEAE-dextran (FDD), FITC-carboxymethyl-dextran (FCM-Dextran). This page discusses the impact of weight-average molecular weight on the respective molecule dimensions and other physical properties

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Fluorescein Isothiocyanate-Dextran

Dextran is a polymer of anhydroglucose. It is composed of approximately 95% alpha-D-(166) linkages. The remaining (163) linkages account for the branching of dextran.

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