Z-Scan Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy: A Powerful Tool for Determination of Lateral Diffusion in Biological Systems

Part of the Reviews in Fluorescence book series (RFLU, volume 2009)


The characterization of the dynamics of biological membranes is a topic which currently grasps a high level of attention. Biological membranes are extremely important as they are required for both protection and communication of eukaryotic cells. They also play a key role for transportation of nutrients into and out of the cell. Recent studies have proved that biological membranes are not homogeneous but are instead composed of microdomains, which complicate the precise determination of lateral diffusion coefficients. Z-scan fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (Z-scan FCS), one of the fluorescence fluctuation methods, is a technique which can be employed to determine lateral diffusion coefficients of membrane lipids and also membrane-associated molecules. Moreover, when Z-scan FCS is used in combination with Wawrezinieck diffusion law, lipid rafts in heterogeneous membranes can be monitored. This review is focused firstly on the theory of lateral diffusion in biological systems and secondly on FCS, especially Z-scan FCS as a very useful approach for determination of lateral diffusion coefficients in planar systems.


Lateral Diffusion Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy Fluorescent Molecule Detection Volume 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Mr. Philip Yip for his excellent language corrections. This work has been supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic via grants P208/10/1090 (M. Štefl and R. Macháň) and P208/10/0376 (M. Hof).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry v.v.i.Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic

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