Recent advances in the development of new microscopical techniques with single-molecule sensitivity have given access to essentially new types of information on biological systems. In this review, basic methodological concepts of ultra-sensitive microscopy are presented and characterized, with focus on their applicability for a bioanalytical instrument. Measurements on artificial lipid bilayers were used to evaluate the feasibility of this novel technology. First examples of single molecule microscopy on cell membranes revealed new basic insights into the lateral organization of the plasma membrane.
Keywords: single molecule microscopy, scanning device, biochip reader, lipid bilayer, fret, lateral diffusion, in vivo, electrophysiology
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