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Isotopic Labels

Among the foundation techniques of modern biological research, isotopic labeling has been helping scientists trace molecular movement, coax out metabolic pathways, and straighten chemical reactions for the last half-century. BOC Sciences provides isotopic labels like Carbon-13, Nitrogen-15, Oxygen-18, and Deuterium with which researchers can trace, measure, and explore the research in life science.

What is Isotopic Labeling?

Essentially, isotopic labeling is the substitution of particular atoms within molecules with isotopes, which are different variants of elements that have varying numbers of neutrons. These other molecules, which are then called labeled molecules, are introduced into biological systems as molecular tracers, the use of which provides details on tracing these molecules in the biological environment. Although it has been an invaluable tool used in many different fields like; chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, environmental science, etc.

Synthesis of Isotopic Labeling Compounds

Many isotopes are useful for labeling compounds and the process begins with the identification of one that is appropriate. BOC Sciences provides you with a variety of high-quality isotopes (Carbon-13, Nitrogen-15, Oxygen-18, Deuterium, etc.), which have different characteristics and are indispensable in biological research. The isotopes are incorporated into target compounds via chemical synthesis, replacing certain atoms in the natural molecules with isotopically labeled ones.

Isotopic Labels from BOC Sciences

Isotopic labels are nonradioactive, with stable properties, and occur naturally in different proportions in nature and will not cause harm to the human body. The method of isotopic labeling in drug molecules can be synthesized chemically, and their concentration of both labeled and unlabeled drugs in the biological samples are determined by GC-MS or LC-MS simultaneously. Four stable isotopes are commonly used: Deuterium, 13C, 15N and 18O. In addition, you can get more types of isotope-labeled compounds and custom isotope services at BOC Sciences.

Stable Isotopes of Hydrogen (Deuterium)

Deuterium, a stable isotope of hydrogen, finds extensive use in isotopic labeling due to its unique properties. By replacing hydrogen atoms with deuterium in compounds, researchers can enhance stability, reduce side effects, and improve the efficacy of drugs. BOC Sciences provides a wide selection of deuterium-labeled compounds, enabling precise investigations into metabolic pathways and drug metabolism. The application of Deuterium labeled compounds in biomedical research can be roughly divided into the following four aspects:

  • Use Deuterium labeled compounds to determine the total body fluid of organisms by isotope dilution method;
  • Deuterium labeled compounds were used to study the metabolic transformation process of exogenous brown endogenous substances in organisms;
  • The application of Deuterium labeled compounds effect, increase the stability of drugs, reduce drug side effects, improve the bioavailability of drugs in vivo, enhance the efficacy of drugs;
  • Deuterium labeled compounds are used as standards, and in vitro tracer method and GC-MS analysis method are used to detect drug concentration in vivo.

Stable Isotopes of Nitrogen (Nitrogen 15)

Nitrogen-15, another stable isotope offered by BOC Sciences, serves as a powerful tool in studying metabolic processes, disease diagnosis, and drug development. Labeled compounds incorporating Nitrogen-15 enable researchers to quantify metabolic fluxes, track nitrogen utilization in plants and animals, and investigate protein dynamics with unparalleled accuracy.

15N-labeled compounds can be used as diagnostic agents. 15N-labeled compounds can be applied to the study of disease diagnosis, human metabolism, drug efficacy, disease diagnosis, chemical reaction, catalytic reaction, nitrogen fertilizer application, crop cultivation and other fields. Meanwhile, they can also improve the efficiency and speed of drug research and development, and play an important role in improving medical technology. For example, 15N-labeled DNA can be used for research in genetic engineering. 15N-labeled amino acids can be used for SILAC quantitative testing.

Stable Isotopes of Oxygen (Oxygen 18)

Oxygen-18, a stable isotope with a distinct mass, plays a crucial role in various biological studies. BOC Sciences provides a diverse range of Oxygen-18 labeled compounds, facilitating research in fields such as drug metabolism, protein synthesis, and metabolic flux analysis. By tracing the incorporation of Oxygen-18 into molecules, researchers can unravel complex metabolic pathways and mechanisms.

18O labeled compounds are essential for the development of new drugs and have great significance for guiding drug application in human body. 18O labeled compounds can be used in sports medicine, child nutrition, food nutrition, weight loss, astronaut diet and other aspects, with broad prospects for development. 18O labeled water can be used for PET detection. 18O-ATP and 18O-ADP can be used for genomics research. 18O labeled compounds can also be used to trace plant and animal metabolism.

Stable Isotopes of Carbon (Carbon 13)

Carbon-13, a stable isotope of carbon, is widely utilized in isotopic labeling for its ability to reveal insights into biochemical processes and molecular dynamics. At BOC Sciences, we offer an extensive catalog of Carbon-13 labeled compounds, enabling precise investigations into metabolic fluxes, enzyme kinetics, and protein structure-function relationships.

13C-labeled diagnostic reagents are non-invasive, safe and radiation-free, and are suitable for children, pregnant women and other patients. More and more scholars have paid attention to them. At present, 13C diagnostic reagents are widely used in clinical practice. For example, 13C-labeled urea test can be applied to the diagnosis of helicobacter pylori infection. In addition, other compounds labeled with 13C, such as aminopyrine, methacetine, caprylic acid and mixed triglyceride, can also be applied to the diagnosis of other diseases in the digestive system. 13C-labeled amino acids can be used for the diagnosis of tumor cells, the differentiation of tumor recurrence, the differentiation of pathological changes after disease treatment, and the examination of human metabolic function.

Advantages of BOC Sciences' Isotopic Labels

At BOC Sciences, our commitment to excellence drives us to deliver high-quality isotopic labels tailored to the specific needs of researchers. Our advantages include:

  • Comprehensive Selection: We offer a diverse range of stable isotopes, allowing researchers to find the perfect match for their experimental requirements.
  • Quality Assurance: Our isotopic labels undergo rigorous quality control measures to ensure purity, stability, and reliability, guaranteeing reproducible results.
  • Custom Synthesis: We provide custom synthesis services, enabling researchers to obtain isotopically labeled compounds tailored to their unique specifications.
  • Expert Support: Our team of experienced scientists is dedicated to providing expert guidance and support throughout the research process, ensuring optimal outcomes for our clients.

Isotopic labeling offered by BOC Sciences represents a cornerstone technique in biological research, empowering scientists with the tools needed to unravel the complexities of living systems. With our comprehensive selection of stable isotopes, cutting-edge synthesis capabilities, and unwavering commitment to quality, we are poised to drive innovation and discovery in the field of life sciences.


1: What is the first deuterated drug?

Deutetrabenazine (FDA 2017; Huntington's disease) has been the first deuterated drug to reach the market.

2: Why is N-15 used in NMR?

Since its spin is of half-integral value, N-15 is used in NMR. This property makes NMR signals observable that yield important information on the structure and dynamics of molecules. Moreover, the natural abundance of N-15 is 0.4%, still good enough for NMR experiments.

3: What is the practical use of carbon-13?

Carbon-13 is also widely used in NMR spectroscopy to learn about the structure and dynamics of organic molecules. These use the Nobel laureate effigy to practically determine the molecular structure in chemistry, biochemistry and the materials and reaction mechanic arenas for studying molecular interactions. In addition, carbon-13 labeling methods are used for metabolic studies and in the pharmaceutical industry to track the fate of drug-derived compounds in organ systems.

4: What are deuterated drugs used for?

Various usages of deuterated drugs in pharmaceuticals: A major use is to improve drug pharmacokinetic characteristics such as stability, bioavailability, and half-life. Some hydrogen atoms in the drug molecules are replaced with deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen, but a bit heavier), which can make the drugs metabolize more slowly in the body. Such modification pairs with drug characteristics that result in better drug performance such as less dosing frequency, increased drug efficacy, and less adverse effects. Thus, deuterated drugs have been developed to address diseases including cancer, neurological, and infectious diseases.

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