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Quantitating Fluorescence Intensity From Fluorophore: The Definition of MESF Assignment



A. Schwartz, Lili Wang, E A. Early, Adolfas Gaigalas, Aimin Zhang, G E. Marti, R F. Vogt


The quantitation of fluorescence radiance may at first suggest the need to obtain the number of fluorophore that are responsible for the measured fluorescence radiance. This goal is beset by many difficulties since the fluorescence radiance depends on three parameters 1) the probability of absorbing a photon (molar extinction), 2) the number of fluorophore, and 3) probability of radiative decay of the excited state(quantum yield). If we use the same fluorophore in the reference solution and the analyte then, to a good approximation, the molar extinction drops out from the comparison of fluorescence radiance and we are left with the comparison of fluorescence yield which is defined as the product of fluorophore concentration and the molecular quantum yield. The equality of fluorescence yields from two solutions leads to the notion of equivalent number of fluorophores in the two solutions that is the basis for assignment of MESF(Molecules of Equivalent Soluble Fluorophore) values. We discuss how MESF values are assigned to labeled microbeads and to labeled antibodies, and how these assignments can lead to the estimate of the number of bound antibodies in flow cytometer measurements.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


flow cytometer, fluorescein, fluorescence, MESF, microbeads, quantitation, SRM 1932


Schwartz, A. , Wang, L. , Early, E. , Gaigalas, A. , Zhang, A. , Marti, G. and Vogt, R. (2002), Quantitating Fluorescence Intensity From Fluorophore: The Definition of MESF Assignment, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed June 14, 2024)


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Created December 31, 2001, Updated October 12, 2021