Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy in small cytosolic compartments depends critically on the diffusion model used

Arne Gennerich, Detlev Schild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is a powerful technique for measuring low concentrations of fluorescent molecules and their diffusion constants. In the standard case, fluorescence fluctuations are measured in an open detection volume defined by the confocal optics. However, if FCS measurements are carried out in cellular processes that confine the detection volume, the standard FCS model leads to erroneous results. In this paper, we derive a modified FCS model that takes into account the confinement of the detection volume. Using this model, we have carried out the first FCS measurements in dendrites of cultured neurons. We further derive, for the case of confined diffusion, the limits within which the standard two- and three-dimensional diffusion models give reliable results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3294-3306
Number of pages13
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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