Organic chemistry is not always exciting when it comes to using colour: white powders, colourless liquids. But it can also produce beautiful pictures.

Working with dyes almost always produces picturesque results. Maarten van Meerbeek, an organic chemist in the Interventional Molecular Imaging group at Leiden University Medical Centre, has experienced this regularly in a project using Cy5 dyes. The picture shows one of the building blocks for new intraoperative tracers in a flask. The final tracers required a further series of modifications. Once synthesised, the substances could potentially be used in image-guided surgery. Van Meerbeek occasionally posts photos of his experiments on his Instagram stories: @creek_dnb

Do you have any nice photos of your experiments? If so, send them to and you might be featured in our magazine!


Beeld: Maarten van Meerbeek / IMI