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REVIEW: Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy in Biology, Chemistry, and Medicine

I. V. Perevoshchikova1,2, E. A. Kotova1, and Y. N. Antonenko1*

1Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: (495) 939-3181; E-mail: antonen@genebee.msu.ru

2Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received October 15, 2010; Revision received November 24, 2010
This review describes the method of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and its applications. FCS is used for investigating processes associated with changes in the mobility of molecules and complexes and allows researchers to study aggregation of particles, binding of fluorescent molecules with supramolecular complexes, lipid vesicles, etc. The size of objects under study varies from a few angstroms for dye molecules to hundreds of nanometers for nanoparticles. The described applications of FCS comprise various fields from simple chemical systems of solution/micelle to sophisticated regulations on the level of living cells. Both the methodical bases and the theoretical principles of FCS are simple and available. The present review is concentrated preferentially on FCS applications for studies on artificial and natural membranes. At present, in contrast to the related approach of dynamic light scattering, FCS is poorly known in Russia, although it is widely employed in laboratories of other countries. The goal of this review is to promote the development of FCS in Russia so that this technique could occupy the position it deserves in modern Russian science.
KEY WORDS: fluorescence fluctuations, correlation spectroscopy, diffusion, aggregation, binding, nanoparticles, biopolymers, vesicles, ligands, receptors, conformational changes, nucleic acid and protein folding

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297911050014