Fluorescence techniques to study lipid dynamics

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2011 Nov 1;3(11):a009803. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a009803.


Biological research has always tremendously benefited from the development of key methodology. In fact, it was the advent of microscopy that shaped our understanding of cells as the fundamental units of life. Microscopic techniques are still central to the elucidation of biological units and processes, but equally important are methods that allow access to the dimension of time, to investigate the dynamics of molecular functions and interactions. Here, fluorescence spectroscopy with its sensitivity to access the single-molecule level, and its large temporal resolution, has been opening up fully new perspectives for cell biology. Here we summarize the key fluorescent techniques used to study cellular dynamics, with the focus on lipid and membrane systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching / methods
  • Fluorometry / methods*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Membrane Lipids / physiology
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / methods


  • Membrane Lipids