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Structure and Physiological Role of Ion Channels Studied by Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Biomedical Spectroscopy

  1. Ben Corry1,
  2. Charles G. Cranfield2,3,
  3. Boris Martinac2,3

Published Online: 18 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9354

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Corry, B., Cranfield, C. G. and Martinac, B. 2013. Structure and Physiological Role of Ion Channels Studied by Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. 1–26.

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

  2. 2

    Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Darlinghurst, Australia

  3. 3

    University of New South Wales, Darlinghurst, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 SEP 2013


Fluorescence spectroscopy has, over the last two decades, been frequently used for studies of biological cells and their molecular components. In combination with molecular biological methods that allow introduction of fluorescent labeling in vivo and in vitro, fluorescence spectroscopy methods, such as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), have made membrane proteins accessible to studies of their molecular structure and dynamics. In this article, we describe a variety of fluorescence spectroscopy techniques and focus on their use in the studies of the physiological role ion channels play, and the conformational rearrangements involved in the gating of ion channels, whose function as gated membrane pores underlies numerous cellular processes essential for the survival of living cells and organisms.