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Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy: novel variations of an established technique.

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  • 1BioTec TU Dresden, Institute for Biophysics, D-01307 Dresden, Germany.


Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is one of the major biophysical techniques used for unraveling molecular interactions in vitro and in vivo. It allows minimally invasive study of dynamic processes in biological specimens with extremely high temporal and spatial resolution. By recording and correlating the fluorescence fluctuations of single labeled molecules through the exciting laser beam, FCS gives information on molecular mobility and photophysical and photochemical reactions. By using dual-color fluorescence cross-correlation, highly specific binding studies can be performed. These have been extended to four reaction partners accessible by multicolor applications. Alternative detection schemes shift accessible time frames to slower processes (e.g., scanning FCS) or higher concentrations (e.g., TIR-FCS). Despite its long tradition, FCS is by no means dated. Rather, it has proven to be a highly versatile technique that can easily be adapted to solve specific biological questions, and it continues to find exciting applications in biology and medicine.

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