Single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging of biomolecules in living cells

Anal Chem. 2010 Mar 15;82(6):2192-203. doi: 10.1021/ac9024889.


The number of reports per year on single-molecule imaging experiments has grown roughly exponentially since the first successful efforts to optically detect a single molecule were completed over two decades ago. Single-molecule spectroscopy has developed into a field that includes a wealth of experiments at room temperature and inside living cells. The fast growth of single-molecule biophysics has resulted from its benefits in probing heterogeneous populations, one molecule at a time, as well as from advances in microscopes and detectors. This Perspective summarizes the field of live-cell imaging of single biomolecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Biophysics / methods
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cell Nucleolus / ultrastructure
  • Cellular Structures / metabolism*
  • Cellular Structures / ultrastructure*
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Equipment Design
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / instrumentation
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Microscopy / trends*
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods
  • Spectrum Analysis / trends*