Single-particle tracking: applications to membrane dynamics

Annu Rev Biophys Biomol Struct. 1997;26:373-99. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biophys.26.1.373.


Measurements of trajectories of individual proteins or lipids in the plasma membrane of cells show a variety of types of motion. Brownian motion is observed, but many of the particles undergo non-Brownian motion, including directed motion, confined motion, and anomalous diffusion. The variety of motion leads to significant effects on the kinetics of reactions among membrane-bound species and requires a revision of existing views of membrane structure and dynamics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diffusion
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fluidity / physiology*
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Video / methods*


  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins