Total internal reflection fluorescence imaging using an upconverting cover slip for multicolour evanescent excitation
ABSTRACT Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy is well known as a means of studying surface-bound structures in cell biology. It is usually measured either by coupling a light source to the sample using a prism or with a special objective where light passing through the periphery of the lens illuminates the contact region beyond the critical angle. In this study we present a new and simple approach to total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy where the sample is mounted on a cover slip prepared from a high-index upconverting glass-ceramic. Excitation of the cover slip with a low-cost near-infrared laser diode generates intense narrow-band visible emission within the cover slip, some of which is totally internally reflected. This emission gives rise to an evanescent wave at the interface and hence can excite surface-bound fluorescent species. Depending on the excitation conditions the cover slip can generate violet, green and red emission and hence can excite a wide range of fluorescent labels. Fluorescence emission from the sample can be detected in spectral regions where the direct emission from the cover slip is very weak. The advantages and limitations of the technique are discussed in comparison with conventional total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy measurements and prospects for novel total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy geometries are considered.
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ABSTRACT: Recent years have seen the introduction of novel techniques and applications of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM). Key technical achievements include miniaturization, enhanced depth resolution, reduction of detection volumes and the combination of TIRFM with other microscopic techniques. Novel applications have concentrated on single-molecule detection (e.g. of cellular receptors), imaging of exocytosis or endocytosis, measurements of adhesion foci of microtubules, and studies of the localization, activity and structural arrangement of specific ion channels. In addition to conventional fluorescent dyes, genetically engineered fluorescent proteins are increasingly being used to measure molecular conformations or intermolecular distances by fluorescence resonance energy transfer.Current Opinion in Biotechnology 03/2005; 16(1):13-8. · 7.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Using luminescent lanthanides, instead of conventional fluorophores, as donor molecules in resonance energy transfer measurements offers many technical advantages and opens up a wide range of new applications. Advantages include farther measurable distances ( approximately 100 A) with greater accuracy, insensitivity to incomplete labeling, and the ability to use generic relatively large labels, when necessary. Applications highlighted include the study of ion channels in living cells, protein-protein interaction in cells, DNA-protein complexes, and high-throughput screening assays to measure peptide dimerization associated with DNA transcription factors and ligand-receptor interactions.Annual Review of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure 02/2002; 31:275-302. · 18.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Over the past 10 years, advances in laser and detector technologies have enabled single fluorophores to be visualized in aqueous solution. Here, we describe methods based on total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) that we have developed to study the behavior of individual protein molecules within living mammalian cells. We have used cultured myoblasts that were transiently transfected with DNA plasmids encoding a target protein fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Expression levels were quantified from confocal images of control dilutions of GFP and cells with 1-100 nM GFP were then examined using TIRFM. An evanescent field was produced by a totally internally reflected, argon ion laser beam that illuminated a shallow region (50-100 nm deep) at the glass-water interface. Individual GFP-tagged proteins that entered the evanescent field appeared as individual, diffraction-limited spots of light, which were clearly resolved from background fluorescence. Molecules that bound to the basal cell membrane remained fixed in position for many seconds, whereas those diffusing freely in the cytoplasm disappeared within a few milliseconds. We developed automated detection and tracking methods to recognize and characterize the behavior of single molecules in recorded video sequences. This enabled us to measure the kinetics of photobleaching and lateral diffusion of membrane-bound molecules.Methods 03/2003; 29(2):142-52. · 3.64 Impact Factor