Alcian Blue Properties, Molecular Formula, Applications - WorldOfChemicals

Alcian Blue Properties

Alcian Blue

Molecule Structure Image



Alcian Blue is any member of a family of polyvalent basic dyes. It is used to stain acidic polysaccharides such as glycosaminoglycans in cartilages and other body structures, some types of mucopolysaccharides, sialylated glycocalyx of cells etc. Alcian Blue can be used to quantitate acidic glycans both in microspectrophotometric quantitation in solution or for staining glycoproteins in polyacrylamide gels or on western blots. It is a tetravalent basic (cationic) dye with a copper (Cu2+, coordination 4 of 6, orbital configuration d9 with Jahn-Teller distortion) phthalocyanine nucleus (CuPc) with three or four pendent isothiouronium side chains imparting its bulkiness and positive charges. In order to qualify as an alcian blue family member there has to be at least 2 side chains and the mixtures often have 3 chains in average to qualify as 8G. Alcian Blue has been used as an adhesive to help stick glycol methacrylate sections to glass slides. Alcian Blue has been used as a gelling agent for lubricating fluids likely due to the stacking properties of this macrocylic aromatic compound.

Chemical Properties

CAS Number 12040-44-7
Molar Mass 1298.86 g/mol
Molecular Formula C56H68Cl4CuN16S4
Synonyms Alcian Blue 8GX;Ingrain Blue 1;C.I. 74240