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Membrane Dynamics: Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Biomolecules Analysis

  1. Yamunadevi Subburaj,
  2. Raquel Salvador Gallego,
  3. Ana J. García-Sáez

Published Online: 18 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9350

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Subburaj, Y., Gallego, R. S. and García-Sáez, A. J. 2013. Membrane Dynamics: Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. 1–29.

Author Information

  1. Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 SEP 2013


Membranes are dynamic lipophilic structures that constitute a selective barrier essential for the smooth functioning of cellular machinery. Their complex and highly heterogeneous composition, as well as the intricate diffusion patterns that they display, have been intensely studied in the past decades. Several innovative microscopy techniques have recently been developed to gain insight into the basis of membrane dynamics, interactions, and molecular organization. In this article, we introduce four pioneer fluorescence-based approaches that have substantially broadened our overall understanding of membranes: fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), single particle tracking (SPT), fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), and 6-lauroyl-2-(dimethylamino)-naphtalene (LAURDAN) microscopy. We discuss each technique in detail, explaining their principles, methodology, and applications in the research of the dynamic processes controlled by membranes.


  • Diffusion, triplet state;
  • Membrane dynamics;
  • Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy;
  • Single particle tracking;
  • Laurdan;
  • Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching