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Innovative fluorescent dye for visualization of biological samples

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Diagnostics, Diagnosis
Other diagnostic


A leading Polish medical university has developed an innovative fluorescent dye for visualization of biological samples which is characterized by a wider range of applications in the examination of such samples than other dyes available. The university is now looking for foreign licensees that are willing to obtain IP rights to this formula and introduce it to the market.



A leading Polish medical university has designed a dye from the Safirinium-Q family, which is an organic chemical compound for visualization of biological samples, in particular the stratum corneum of the epidermis, dedicated to the biomedical and cosmetic sectors and used to conduct R&D works regarding new active substances and diagnostic tests of skin layers.

The compound is useful in fluorescent and confocal microscopy, providing unique information related, inter alia, to:
- identification of building structures of the stratum corneum of epidermis i.e. corneocytes and lipid matrix surrounding them;
- evaluation of the capacity of stratum corneum of epidermis’ penetration by xenobiotics, including therapeutic substances and their penetration into the deeper layers of the skin (epidermis and dermis);
- identification of ways of transport of substances to the skin, including through transfollicular through hair follicle, sebaceous gland and sweat gland and transepidermal, perpendicular to the corneocyte cells and the lipid matrix, as well as through the lipid matrix and canyons surrounding the corneocytes groups (so called clusters);
- knowing the mechanisms of loss of skin barrier features under the action of different substances;
- the study of interaction between the substances with the building components of the skin;
- assessment of the qualitative condition of hair (dyeing of keratin protein);
- diagnostics of skin diseases;
- comparative analysis of disorder or improvement of the structure of stratum corneum of epidermis under the influence of medicinal or beauty formulations applied on the skin.

The new dye is characterized by the amphiphilic properties with a predominance of lipophilic properties. The nature of the compound, causes the dye to have a high affinity on the one hand to the lipophilic and hydrophobic and hydrophilic structures, and on the other, to lyofophobic and hydrophilic ones, thus it is characterized by a wider range of applications in the examination of biological samples in comparison to fluorescent dyes available currently on the market. Fluorescent dyes from the Safirinium-P and Safirinium-Q families have been already applied particularly in the biomedical industry for marking of bacterial spores, and in studies of protein hydrolysates.

A modification targeted within the structure of Safirinium chromophore and optimization of chemical synthesis have led to developing the innovative and economical manufacturing method of fluorescent dye based on the fluorogenic reaction, by the use of the isoxazole-structured substrates.

The technology of their production was disclosed in the patent and it is the subject of technological offer. This product is on a TRL-VIII level and is protected by a registered European patent.

The university is offering to sell license/IP rights for the new, universal fluorescent dye from Safirinium-Q family and dye production technology to a foreign partner.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
Production technology of a new class of fluorescent dye in the Safirinium-Q family is simple, fast, efficient and uses a new type of fluorogenic reaction by the use of isoxazole derivatives. The innovative dye which is formed as a result of this synthesis is characterized by the amphiphilic properties, it is water soluble, chemically stable, showing high quantum performance of fluorescence, a large Stoke’s shift and fotooptic durability. It has optimal for diffusion to the skin size of molecule and lipophilicity, which allows to penetrate stratum corneum of the epidermis. All these features make it more universal than commercial fluorescent dyes, as well as being able to be used in studies for a wider range of compounds applied to the skin, and this significantly broadens the spectrum of research on skin barrier features. It shows an affinity to both lipid canyons, surrounding corneocytes clusters, lipid matrix, foremost ceramides, surrounding a single corneocyte, as well as keratin. A unique feature of the received dye is the ability to undergo colourization in the stratum corneum of the so-called canyons, or lipid space between corneocytes clusters, important for the skin barrier features. By colourizing the canyons one may observe the penetration of substances to the skin, including active substances, from different formulation of medicinal products or cosmetics, as well as carriers, including liposomes applied on the skin. Fluorescent staining technique with the use of the innovative dye allows for repeatable obtaining of high-quality microscopic images. The mixture has the ability to colourize both corneocytes, the lipid matrix, and canyons. This feature can be a chance for new quality of examining the penetration of active substances and excipient substances with diverse properties present in preparations for the skin, both for medicinal agents as well as skin care products.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Field tested/evaluated

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Most suitable partners would be companies from Life Science sector with experience in carrying research and development works as well as in implementation of medicinal products on local and international markets in order to license IP rights to this product and finally introduce it on the market.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500