What are Fluorescent Lipids?

What are Fluorescent Lipids?

Published by BroadPharm on March 25, 2024

Fluorescent lipids are a class of lipids molecules attached to a fluorophore as exemplified by DOPE-PEG-Fluor 647 (Figure 1). Ionizable, cationic, phospholipids, and PEG lipids are essential components used in delivery technologies such as liposomes and nanoparticles (LNPs). The fluorophore acts as an integral tool for labeling, visualizing cell membranes, and molecular diagnostics. Functionalized fluorophores can be employed in bioconjugation, fluorescent probes, and labeling of various biomolecules (antibodies, peptides, proteins, nucleotides, etc.).

Figure 1. DOPE-PEG-Fluor 647, a fluorescent lipid with Fluor 647 attached to DOPE

Application of Fluorescent Lipids

Fluorescent lipids prove to be potent instruments for exploring biological membranes using microscopic methodologies. They have been effectively employed to investigate lipid bilayer permeability, cellular positioning, membrane dynamics, and molecular dynamics by observing fluorescence recovery (Filipe).

For example, Sela's team made significant strides in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease (PD). They employed brain-targeted liposomes (BTL) loaded with a monoclonal antibody (mAb) called SynO4. These BTLs, which utilize Cy3-DSPE and Cy5-DSPE fluorescent lipids, successfully crossed the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and were taken up by neurons. Within neurons, SynO4 reduced alpha-synuclein (AS) aggregation, enhancing neuronal viability. In vivo experiments demonstrated a sevenfold increase in brain antibodies, showcasing the potential of targeted nanotechnologies for PD treatment. The crucial roles of Cy3-DSPE and Cy5-DSPE were integral in synthesizing dye-labeled liposomes to deliver the therapeutic antibody SynO4 (Sela).

Fluorescent Lipids Offered by BroadPharm

To further empower biotech research, BroadPharm offers a diverse range of fluorescent lipids with fluorophore emission and absorption wavelengths ranging from 300 nm to 800 nm, designed to meet specific research needs.

Explore the following premium selections:


DSPE-BDP FL and DSPE-FITC are versatile fluorescent lipids crucial for lipid-based delivery research. Their efficient plasma membrane integration and reliable biolabeling capabilities make them valuable tools for a variety of applications.

DSPE-Fluor 488, DOPE-Fluor 555, DSPE-Fluor 594, DOPE-Fluor 647

DSPE-Fluor and DOPE-Fluor solutions offer both precise cell membrane visualization and broad compatibility with biological systems. These qualities make them essential tools for enhancing experimental accuracy and precision.

DSPE-Rhodamine, DOPE-Rhodamine B

Illuminate your experiments with the brilliance of DSPE-Rhodamine and DOPE-Rhodamine B. These fluorescent lipids provide exceptional tools for cell membrane labeling, ensuring accurate representation in lipid trafficking studies for advanced insights into cellular processes.


DSPE-Pyrene not only aids in the visualization of cell membranes, but also contributes to the understanding of lipid trafficking dynamics, crucial for optimizing drug delivery mechanisms.

Custom Synthesis

BroadPharm also provides rapid custom synthesis of novel fluorescent lipids and other bioconjugation solutions to satisfy your specific needs.

Journal References

Filipe, H. A., Moreno, M. J., & Loura, L. M. (2020). The secret lives of fluorescent membrane probes as revealed by molecular dynamics simulations. Molecules, 25(15), 3424.

Sela, M., Poley, M., Mora?Raimundo, P., Kagan, S., Avital, A., Kaduri, M., ... & Schroeder, A. (2023). Brain?Targeted Liposomes Loaded with Monoclonal Antibodies Reduce Alpha-Synuclein Aggregation and Improve Behavioral Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease (Adv. Mater. 51/2023). Advanced Materials, 35(51), 2370367.