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Methods. 2002 Aug;27(4):374-87.

Measuring diffusion in cell membranes by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.

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Department of Chemical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Colaba, Mumbai 400005, India.


Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) can measure diffusion on the cell surface with unparalleled sensitivity. In appropriate situations, this can be the most sensitive and accurate method for measuring receptor interaction and oligomerization. Here we attempt to describe FCS in sufficient detail so that the reader is able to judge when there is a compelling reason to choose this technique, understand the basic theory behind it, construct a FCS spectrometer in the laboratory, and analyze the data to obtain a meaningful estimate of the physical parameters.

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