AAT Bioquest

What are rhodamine dyes?

Posted September 30, 2021


Rhodamine dyes are a family of related dyes. All dyes within the rhodamine family are derivatives of xanthene and are a subset of triarylmethane dyes. Rhodamine B, Rhodamine 6G, and Rhodamine 123 are three of the most widely used dyes in this family. They are used in a wide range of biotechnology applications including flow cytometry, ELISA, fluorescence microscopy, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.

Rhodamine dyes are highly fluorescent, photostable, and water soluble. They fluoresce a bright color, which makes them easy to detect in very low concentrations using simple fluorometers. Their water solubility and high brightness make them very useful for multiple applications associated with understanding the movement of water such as tracing pollutants, and studying dispersion.

One of the most common applications of Rhodamine dyes is measuring time of travel for surface, ground, and wastewater. This is done by injecting the dye into the water and measuring the concentration of the dye downstream using a fluorometer.

Additional resources

Teaching Old Dyes New Tricks: Biological Probes Built from Fluoresceins and Rhodamines

5-ROX glycine *Fluorescence reference standard for PCR reactions*