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Fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran

average mol wt 3,000-5,000

CAS Number:
MDL number:

Quality Level

biological source



FITC conjugate



mol wt

average mol wt 3,000-5,000

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 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.
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 and cell junction permeability. 5kDa FITC-dextran may be used to calibrate microscale diffusion measurements. 5kDa FITC-dextran may be used to measure gut permeability in gut barrier dysfunction research.
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

Dongjoo Kim et al.
Scientific reports, 8(1), 168-168 (2018-01-11)
Nasal route drug administration for local and systemic delivery of many therapeutics has received attention because the nasal cavity is highly vascularized and provides a large surface area for drug absorption. However, nasal mucosa exhibits limited permeability to polar molecules.
M Kristina Hamilton et al.
American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology, 308(10), G840-G851 (2015-03-10)
A causal relationship between the pathophysiological changes in the gut epithelium and altered gut microbiota with the onset of obesity have been suggested but not defined. The aim of this study was to determine the temporal relationship between impaired intestinal
Zijuan Zhou et al.
Frontiers in immunology, 8, 1468-1468 (2017-11-28)
Activation of the TNF-α receptor (TNFR) leads to an inflammatory response, and anti-TNF therapy has been administered to reduce inflammation symptoms and heal mucosal ulcers in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Bromelain, a complex natural mixture of proteolytic enzymes, has been
M Boido et al.
Scientific reports, 9(1), 6402-6402 (2019-04-27)
Advanced therapies which combine cells with biomaterial-based carriers are recognized as an emerging and powerful method to treat challenging diseases, such as spinal cord injury (SCI). By enhancing transplanted cell survival and grafting, biomimetic hydrogels can be properly engineered to
Nathan J Klingensmith et al.
Shock (Augusta, Ga.), 50(2), 178-186 (2017-10-13)
Honokiol is a biphenolic isolate extracted from the bark of the magnolia tree that has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, and has more recently been investigated for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Honokiol has previously been demonstrated


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

Related Content

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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