Quick tour of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy from its inception

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Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) was originally developed in the early 1970s as a way to measure the kinetics of chemical reactions under zero perturbation conditions. At its inception, the measurement was difficult due to experimental limitations and was primarily used during the 1970s and 1980s to characterize diffusion. More recently, as a result of technological advances, FCS measurements have become easier and more versatile. In addition to measurements of diffusion both in solution and in cells, FCS is now also used to measure not only chemical reaction kinetics but also extents of molecular aggregation, the dynamics of photophysical processes, conformational fluctuations, molecular interactions in solution and in cells, and has even found application as a pharmaceutical screening method. From its inception to the present, the contributions of Webb and his coworkers have had a central and defining role in the development and applications of FCS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-864
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004


  • Diffusion
  • Fluctuation
  • Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy
  • Photobleaching recovery
  • Reaction kinetics


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