Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A recently developed, real-time spectroscopic technique, burst-integrated fluorescence lifetime (BIFL), is shown to be well suited for monitoring the individual molecular conformational dynamics of a single molecule diffusing through the microscopic, open measurement volume (approximately 10 fl) of a confocal epi-illuminated set-up. In a highly diluted aqueous solution of 20-mer oligonucleotide strand of DNA duplex labeled with the environment-sensitive fluorescent dye tetramethylrhodamine (TMR), fluorescence bursts indicating traces of individual molecules are registered and further subjected to selective burst analysis. The two-dimensional BIFL data allow the identification and detection of different temporally resolved conformational states. A complementary autocorrelation analysis was performed on the time-dependent fluctuations in fluorescence lifetime and intensity. The consistent results strongly support the hypothesized three-state model of the conformational dynamics of the TMR-DNA duplex with a polar, a nonpolar, and a quenching environment of TMR.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





1556 - 1561


Kinetics, Motion, Nucleic Acid Conformation, Oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Rhodamines, Spectrometry, Fluorescence