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UConn Health Richard D. Berlin
Center for Cell Analysis & Modeling

CCAM Optical Imaging

Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy

Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) can provide requisite quantitative data for analysis of molecular interaction networks underlying complex cell biological processes. (FCS) provides the technology to measure concentrations, diffusion coefficients, kinetic constants and conditional operators in living cells (Levin and Carson, 2003). This high resolution method of imaging the movement of fluorescent molecules in and out of a volume has been used to understand the complex regulation of RNA nuclear:cytoplasmic transport and RNA granule trafficking in neurons. In addition to the basic research in the areas of neuronal biology, RNA transport and trafficking, researchers are creating protocols that will make FCS easier for the scientific community to use.

Optical Probe Development

Fluorescent dyes are significant tools in the study of cellular processes. At CCAM novel chromophores from environmentally sensitive dyes are synthesized and characterized. Membrane associated styryl dyes are a particular interest in the study of transmembrane potentials and signaling events that occur due to voltage changes at the plasma membrane. Combining these dyes with additionally innovative methods of optics creates new quantitative ways of looking at cellular behaviors.

Single Molecule Imaging
Carson, Yu

Single molecule imaging allows cell biologists to analyze cellular behaviors at a new scale of resolution. Faculty at CCAM have used photo-switchable fluorescent protein for single-molecule tracking in live cells to analyze the dynamics of membrane-cytoskeletal interactions as well as properties of gene transcription and translation. Single molecule tracking involves the exploitation of chromophores for in vivo imaging, millisecond and nm resolution from 2-photon laser microscopy, deconvolution and tracking algorithms. Single molecule imaging, similar to FCS, is providing exceptionally fine resolution to cellular behaviors such that stochastic behaviors can be quantitatively measured.

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