|Fluorescence-based techniques are valuable tools for studying cellular structure and function, and interactions of molecules in biological systems. Fluorescence is also important in the detection and quantitation of nucleic acids and proteins in gel electrophoresis, microarrays, and fluorescence spectroscopy. |
You are probably already familiar with fluorescence as a property of some substances that "glow in the dark". A large variety of fluorescent chemicals have been synthesized and modified to specifically interact with cellular structures in order to make them detectable in many different colors. With sophisticated microscopes and instruments, it is possible to detect, image, and measure the amount of fluorescence in samples as small as individual cells, and with multiple fluorescent colors. The combination of specialized fluorescent chemicals and instruments has given us an unprecedented detailed view of cells.