High-throughput single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy using parallel detection

Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2010 Jan 24;7608(76082D):76082D_1. doi: 10.1117/12.846784.


Solution-based single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy is a powerful new experimental approach with applications in all fields of natural sciences. The basic concept of this technique is to excite and collect light from a very small volume (typically femtoliter) and work in a concentration regime resulting in rare burst-like events corresponding to the transit of a single-molecule. Those events are accumulated over time to achieve proper statistical accuracy. Therefore the advantage of extreme sensitivity is somewhat counterbalanced by a very long acquisition time. One way to speed up data acquisition is parallelization. Here we will discuss a general approach to address this issue, using a multispot excitation and detection geometry that can accommodate different types of novel highly-parallel detector arrays. We will illustrate the potential of this approach with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and single-molecule fluorescence measurements obtained with different novel multipixel single-photon counting detectors.