Molecule of the Week

Methylene Blue

June 13, 2011

Methylene blue is one of the oldest organic dyes. It was first prepared in 1876 by H. Caro—BASF’s research director at the time—for use as a cotton dye. In 1880, microbiologist R. Koch established it as a medical stain. It is also used as an indicator for redox reactions, a photosensitizer for generating singlet oxygen, and a drug to treat methemoglobinemia, among other conditions. Until recently, dyestuff-grade methylene blue was used in medicine, but a pharmaceutical grade is now under development.

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