Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Anne Wilson


There are many different dyes that are used for biological research, but not much is commonly known about the origins of the dyes or how they are synthesized. Our dyes of interest were Coomassie Blue G and Rhodamine B. Coomassie Blue G is a blue colored dye used mainly for SDS-PAGE (gel electrophoresis) in biological research. Rhodamine B is used for its ability to fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Both of these dyes have been used for research purposes for many years despite researchers who use the dyes not having little background knowledge regarding the purity of the manufactured dyes. We analyzed our dyes by testing the purity of the dye and analyzing the components with chromatography tests. Most of our research was focused on finding a suitable solvent system that would work with our zwitterionic material. After an extensive series of trials, we found a solvent system that properly separated our dyes of interest. This allowed us to find the components that are in the dyes as well as the components that make up impurities. Components were collected by column chromatography and analyzed using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. From this, we will be further analyzing the possibility of finding a clear way of synthesizing the dye, while minimizing the presence of impurities.

Included in

Biology Commons