Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) is a non-ionic starch derivative that can be of varying molecular weight. HES is also known as HAES, Tetrastarch (VoluvenTM), pentastarch (PentastanTM) and Hetastarch (HespanTM). HES may be used to treat hypovolemia or sudden blood loss. Starch is a naturally abundant (1-4 β)-Glucose polymer that is insoluble in water. However, when functionalised with hydroxyethyl groups, the starch chain becomes water-soluble and has become a useful tool in life sciences.
Fluorescein isothiocyanate hydroxyethyl starch (FHES or FITC-HES) is manufactured by reacting FITC with HES. The product is carefully purified from reagents, solvents and by-products. It is supplied as an orange to dark orange powder. The mean average molecular weight is approx. 165 kDa.
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The degree of FITC substitution lies between 0.001 and 0.01. The hydroxyethyl content is on an average 0.5 hydroxyethyl groups per glucose unit.
FITC-hydroxyethyl starch has an excitation maximum of 490 – 495 nm and an emission maximum of 520 ± 5 nm.
Storage and stability
FITC-hydroxyethyl starch is stable for more than 6 years when stored dry in well-sealed containers at ambient temperature. FHES is also stable in aqueous solution, however, it is not recommended to make a stock solution of FHES in aqueous media for long term storage. Fresh solutions will minimize the degradation risk for the product. Store protected from light.
FITC-hydroxyethyl starch is readily soluble in water and DMSO. Fastest dissolution is obtained by adding dry FHES portion-wise to a stirred quantity of water. Concentrations up to 1g per 10 mL water are possible without issues but the solution might be viscous. If solubility issues still occur, try gently heating up the solution to 50°C and stirring with a magnetic stirrer bar.
FITC-hydroxyethyl starch is used in studies to evaluate the function and behaviour of either HES or a biological system (e.g. the circulatory system, kidneys, etc.), or to measure the blood volume. Read more about applications here.
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