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Molecular Cytology

Research line dr. ir. M.A. (Mark) Hink

Fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy (FFS) to perform quantitative microscopy

One of the most intriguing challenges in life sciences is to understand how a complex mixture of molecular particles and structures can make up a living cell. Despite the immense number of studies still much is unknown about the molecular basis of numerous biological processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, intra- and extra-cellular communication and apoptosis. To increase our understanding about the complexity of these processes in living cells, experimental and especially quantitative data on the spatial-temporal organisation is required. Fluorescence based techniques are ideal tools for this type of studies.

Fluorescence Fluctuation Spectroscopy (FFS) is a family of fluorescence techniques that is capable of detecting concentration, dynamics and interactions of fluorescent particles down to the single-molecule level and, if desired, in the living cell. We are applying, optimising and expanding FFS techniques like FCCS, PCH, PIE-FLCS, stICS and RICS to describe signal transduction pathways, like the Galpha signalling pathway quantitatively. Thereto, the proteins of interest are genetically labeled with the various color- and lifetime variants of the green fluorescent protein (partly developed in our laboratory) expressed in living cells and studied by advanced fluorescence microscopes.

dr. ir. M.A. (Mark) Hink

Faculty of Science

Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences