Single Molecule Microscopy of Biomembranes (Review)

Mol Membr Biol. Jan-Mar 2000;17(1):17-29. doi: 10.1080/096876800294452.


Recent advances in the development of new microscopy techniques with a sensitivity of a single molecule have gained access to essentially new types of information obtainable from imaging biomolecular samples. These methodologies are analysed here in terms of their applicability to the in vivo visualization of cellular processes on the molecular scale, in particular of processes in cell membranes. First examples of single molecule microscopy on cell membranes revealed new basic insight into the lateral organization of the plasma membrane, providing the captivating perspective of an ultrasensitive methodology as a general tool to study local processes and heterogeneities in living cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / methods*