Reversible photoswitching enables single-molecule fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy at high molecular concentration.
Eggeling C., Hilbert M., Bock H., Ringemann C., Hofmann M., Stiel AC., Andresen M., Jakobs S., Egner A., Schönle A., Hell SW.
We demonstrate that photoswitchable markers enable fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy at high molecular concentration. Reversible photoswitching allows precise control of the density of fluorescing entities, because the equilibrium between the fluorescent ON- and the dark OFF-state can be shifted through optical irradiation at a specific wavelength. Depending on the irradiation intensity, the concentration of the ON-state markers can be up to 1,000 times lower than the actual concentration of the labeled molecular entity. Photoswitching expands the range of single-molecule detection based experiments such as fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy to large entity concentrations in the micromolar range.