Fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy: ushering in a new age of enlightenment for cellular dynamics

Biophys Rev. 2009 Sep 1;1(3):105-118. doi: 10.1007/s12551-009-0013-8.


Originally developed for applications in physics and physical chemistry, fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy is becoming widely used in cell biology. This review traces the development of the method and describes some of the more important applications. Specifically, the methods discussed include fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), scanning FCS, dual color cross-correlation FCS, the photon counting histogram and fluorescence intensity distribution analysis approaches, the raster scanning image correlation spectroscopy method, and the Number and Brightness technique. The physical principles underlying these approaches will be delineated, and each of the methods will be illustrated using examples from the literature.