A key challenge of live-cell fluorescence microscopy is the ability to image weak fluorophors without causing cell damage, photobleaching, or undesirable changes to cell health. We have addressed this problem by developing Gibco® FluoroBrite™ DMEM, a DMEM-based formulation with background fluorescence that is 90% lower than that emitted by standard phenol red–free DMEM. Formulated to include the required nutrients for routine cell culture when supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and 4 mM L-glutamine or GlutaMAX™, FluoroBrite™ DMEM is designed to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of fluorophors so that researchers can visualize even the weakest fluorescent events in an environment that promotes optimum cell health.

  • Enhancement of fluorescence signal during live-cell imaging
  • DMEM-based to help preserve cell health

FluoroBrite™ DMEM testimonials

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Performance data


Figure 1. FluoroBrite™ DMEM has 10% of the background fluorescence emitted by standard phenol red–free DMEM and provides a 9-fold enhancement in signal-to-noise ratio. (A) Images of live epithelial cells that have been labeled with CellLight® Golgi-GFP, BacMam 2.0 (Cat. No. C10592) and cultured in phenol red–free DMEM (Cat. No. 31053) or FluoroBrite™ DMEM with 10% fetal bovine serum. Cells in 10X images are co-labeled with CellLight® Actin-RFP, BacMam 2.0 (Cat. No. C10583). Cells in 40X images (inset) are co-labeled with ER-Tracker™ Red (BODIPY® TR Glibenclamide; Cat. No. E34250). (B) Fluorescence signal from PBS, FluoroBrite™ DMEM, and phenol red–free DMEM at 509 nm in response to excitation at 480 nm. (C) Fluorescent signal from dextran labeled with Alexa Fluor® 488 dye (Cat. No. D22910) over background in PBS, FluoroBrite™ DMEM, and phenol red–free DMEM.


Figure 2. Cell lines cultured in FluoroBrite™ DMEM and standard DMEM display comparable long-term growth over multiple passages. Graphs display the average viable cell density (solid line; left y axis) and average percent viability (dotted line; right y axis) for three cell lines cultured for several passages in a standard phenol red–free DMEM (Cat. No. 31053) or FluoroBrite™ DMEM, both supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and and 4 mM GlutaMAX™. Note: the Sp2 suspension cell line was tested for long-term growth in FluoroBrite™ DMEM because of its known hypersensitivity to nutrient deficiencies.