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Biotium Increases Options for Autofluorescence Quenchers with TrueBlack® Plus

TrueBlack® Plus is the first autofluorescence quencher for use in aqueous buffer and expands Biotium’s product line of background reducers.

Fremont, CA, August 3, 2020: Biotium announces the release of TrueBlack® Plus, a new product to reduce background and autofluorescence in cell and tissue staining. Fluorescence microscopy is widely used to study cells and tissues to gain knowledge on diverse medical challenges such as cancer, neuroscience, and human disease. Lipofuscin, a lipid containing granule that accumulates in the cell as a result of aging, as well as extracellular matrix are problematic sources of autofluorescence in all emission channels and hamper fluorescence experiments on tissue and cells. TrueBlack® Plus is the first lipofuscin quencher with that can be used in aqueous buffer and offers a new way for scientists to distinguish specific fluorescence staining from background signal, particularly in thick or sensitive tissue samples.

The original TrueBlack®, Biotium’s first lipofuscin quencher, was released in 2014 and has been cited in more than 100 publications. As part of an ongoing collaboration between chemists and researchers in life sciences, the team at Biotium has developed TrueBlack® Plus to expand the capabilities of life science researchers.

“We kept hearing great feedback from customers about TrueBlack® quencher, but some users were finding that the need to use ethanol for quenching wasn’t ideal for their thick sections or tissues stained with lipophilic dyes,” says Lori Roberts PhD, Director of Bioscience at Biotium. “So, we developed TrueBlack® Plus to offer greater flexibility for different applications.”

TrueBlack® Plus quenches lipofuscin autofluorescence and also can reduce background fluorescence from collagen, elastin, and red blood cells. Scientists have struggled to minimize background in delicate and thick tissue samples because, traditionally, the quenchers are incubated with the sample in 70% ethanol. Moreover, ethanol also removes some lipophilic dyes from samples reducing the brightness of the signal. The ability to treat autofluorescence in aqueous buffer allows for longer incubation times and broadens the cellular structures and dynamics that can be studied using fluorescent probes.

Many background quenchers currently on the market introduce significant background in the red and far-red channels and limit the ability to perform multiplex staining. The TrueBlack® series of lipofuscin quenchers, and particularly TrueBlack® Plus, introduce negligible to extremely low levels of background in the far-red channel. It is thus possible to stain samples with a larger spectrum of dyes allowing multiple proteins and cell structures to be visualized concurrently.

TrueBlack® Plus will be available as part of a complete line of background reducers starting August 2020. For more information and tech tips on TrueBlack® Plus, visit the product page at