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Proceedings Paper

Probing single molecules in polyacrylamide gels
Author(s): Susanne Kummer; Robert M. Dickson; William E. Moerner
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Paper Abstract

The development of fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging on the single molecule level has provided a new method to investigate various phenomena in condensed phase at liquid helium and room temperature unobscured by ensemble averaging. Single molecule spectroscopy allows studying the photophysical behavior of chromophores as well as using those chromophores as a probe for their local environment. A crucial problem that has to be overcome for single molecule studies in the liquid phase is Brownian motion: only partially or completely immobilized molecules allow extended observation. Here we report on the use of water-based polyacrylamide gels as a promising medium for single molecule investigations at room temperature with wide-field total internal reflection microscopy. The gel framework dramatically reduced Brownian motion of small fluorescent dye molecules. Observation of the diffusion of these molecules served as a probe for the inner structure of the gels. Furthermore these water-based gels form a useful medium for single molecule studies of biological systems in vitro.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 April 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3273, Laser Techniques for Condensed-Phase and Biological Systems, (24 April 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.306125
Show Author Affiliations
Susanne Kummer, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
Robert M. Dickson, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
William E. Moerner, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3273:
Laser Techniques for Condensed-Phase and Biological Systems
Norbert F. Scherer; Janice M. Hicks, Editor(s)

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