Single Molecule Fluorescence Imaging

Single Molecule Fluorescence Imaging

Classical biological research techniques focus on the activities of molecules or cells containing a large number of identical morphology or function. However, this method ignores the specificity of a single molecule or subgroup in the cluster. In fact, at different stages of the cell cycle or in different environments, the activities of individual molecules or cells are likely to be different from the overall activities of clusters. With the emergence of single molecule fluorescence imaging technology, we have a deep understanding of the behavior of a single biomolecule in its natural environment and its role in cellular processes.

Investigating putative interactions between adjacent molecules using single-molecule imagingFigure 1. Investigating putative interactions between adjacent molecules using single-molecule imaging (Shashkova S, et al. 2017).

Single Molecule Fluorescence Imaging

Single molecule fluorescence imaging technology can be divided into two categories: one is to study single molecule activities under external forces. Usually, the mechanical properties of single biomolecules and intermolecular interactions between biomolecules are studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM), optical tweezers (OT) or magnetic tweezers (MT). The other is to observe the activity of single molecule in biological system by fluorescence microscopy. These two categories provide molecular information from different aspects and are therefore complementary.

The basis of single-molecule fluorescence imaging technology is to label molecules of interest with fluorescent dyes, and then image and analyze them with fluorescence microscope. Therefore, the choice of labeling method and fluorescent dye is very important, which needs to be selected according to the needs of samples and specific imaging techniques. There are many methods to label a single molecule, including antibody labeling, biotinylation, epitope labeling, small molecule probe, and biological orthogonal labeling. Common fluorescent dyes include organic dyes (such as FITC, TRITC), fluorescent proteins (such as GFP, YFP), and quantum dots.

CD BioSciences is a biotechnology company, which has been committed to the development of fluorescent probes and imaging technology for many years. We can use single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to study the structure of single molecules and their functions in physiological activities, such as the interaction of DNA/RNA and protein, DNA replication and transcription, cell wall synthesis, and mitochondrial protein dynamics, etc. If you have any needs, please feel free to contact us.

Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscope

Confocal microscopy



Application of Single Molecule Fluorescence Imaging

Protein folding, translocation and movement
Biopolymer mechanics
Oxidative phosphorylation
Mitochondrial protein dynamics
Endocytosis and exocytosis pathways
Cell wall synthesis

Signal transduction
DNA replication and remodeling
Cell division mechanism
Virus infection process
Osmotic receptor kinetics
Structural dynamics of DNA

Advantages of Single Molecule Fluorescence Imaging

  • High fluorescence efficiency for maximum signal
  • Fluorescence is stable, allowing longer time imaging
  • The fluorescent molecule is small and does not destroy the biological activity of the target molecule
  • High-sensitivity optical system to capture high-quality pictures
  • Fully automatic image analysis and data management
  • Experienced scientists provide experimental consultation
  • Reasonable price and short turnaround time


  1. Juette M F, Terry D S, Wasserman M R, et al. The bright future of single-molecule fluorescence imaging[J]. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 2014, 20C (1):103-111.
  2. Xia T, Nan L, Fang X. Single-molecule fluorescence imaging in living cells[J]. Annual Review of Physical Chemistry, 2013, 64(1):459-480.
  3. Shashkova S, Leake M. Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy review: shedding new light on old problems[J]. Bioscience Reports, 2017, 37(4): BSR20170031.

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Please note: Our services can only be used for research purposes. Do not use in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures!

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