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Parallel Confocal Detection of Single Biomolecules Using Diffractive Optics and Integrated Detector Units

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The past few years we have witnessed a tremendous surge of interest in so-called array-based miniaturised analytical systems due to their value as extremely powerful tools for high-throughput sequence analysis, drug discovery and development, and diagnostic tests in medicine (see articles in Issue I). Terminologies that have been used to describe these array-based bioscience systems include (but are not limited to): DNA-chip, microarrays, microchip, biochip, DNAmicroarrays and genome chip. Potential technological benefits of introducing these miniaturised analytical systems include improved accuracy, multiplexing, lower sample and reagent consumption, disposability, and decreased analysis times, just to mention a few examples. Among the many alternative principles of detection-analysis (e.g. chemiluminescence, electroluminescence and conductivity), fluorescence-based techniques are widely used, examples being fluorescence resonance energy transfer, fluorescence quenching, fluorescence polarisation, time-resolved fluorescence, and fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy (see articles in Issue II). Time-dependent fluctuations of fluorescent biomolecules with different molecular properties, like molecular weight, translational and rotational diffusion time, colour and lifetime, potentially provide all the kinetic and thermodynamic information required in analysing complex interactions. In this mini-review article, we present recent extensions aimed to implement parallel laser excitation and parallel fluorescence detection that can lead to even further increase in throughput in miniaturised array-based analytical systems. We also report on developments and characterisations of multiplexing extension that allow multifocal laser excitation together with matched parallel fluorescence detection for parallel confocal dynamical fluorescence fluctuation studies at the single biomolecule level.

Keywords: fluorescence fluctuation analysis; high throughput screening; multiplexed excitation and detection; parallel confocal spectroscopy

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Department of Medical Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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