Sony researchers have developed a programmable polymer system to produce a new class of fluorescent dyes that support a variety of research and imaging applications, including both spectral and conventional flow cytometry. Employing a standard DNA synthesizer, the proprietary technology has been used to synthesize several types of dyes with increased brightness in fluorescence emission.

To construct a dye, the sequencer assembles an organic polymeric backbone with a number of small fluorochromes, or payload molecules, attached at precise locations along the backbone. This approach has allowed Sony to address the longstanding technical issue of “contact quenching” between fluorochromes, which has limited the brightness of dyes. Programmability permits finer control over the molecular architecture of the dye, particularly the interactions and spacing fluorochromes along the backbone, to maximize brightness.

The technology is automated for fast, efficient prototyping and testing, with the capability to produce a variety of dyes with properties that can be more easily controlled. This novel technology can be rapidly deployed toward the development of fluorochromes that demonstrate tunable brightness and unique emission spectra, offering new possibilities in life science research.

Polymeric dyes diagram


  1. Matray T, Singh S, Sherif H, et al. A novel class of polymeric fluorescent dyes assembled using a DNA synthesizer. PLoS One. 2020 Dec 4;15(12):e0243218 PubMed