Document Detail

FRET microscopy in 2010: the legacy of Theodor Förster on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21344587     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Theodor Förster would have been 100 years old this year, and he would have been astounded to see the impact of his scientific achievement, which is still evolving. Combining his quantitative approach of (Förster) resonance energy transfer (FRET) with state-of-the-art digital imaging techniques allows scientists to breach the resolution limits of light (ca. 200 nm) in light microscopy. The ability to deduce molecular or particle distances within a range of 1-10 nm in real time and to prove or disprove interactions between two or more components is of vital interest to researchers in many branches of science. While Förster's groundbreaking theory was published in the 1940s, the availability of suitable fluorophores, instruments, and analytical tools spawned numerous experiments in the last 20 years, as demonstrated by the exponential increase in publications. These cover basic investigation of cellular processes and the ability to investigate them when they go awry in pathological states, the dynamics involved in genetics, and following events in environmental sciences and methods in drug screening. This review covers the essentials of Theodor Förster's theory, describes the elements for successful implementation of FRET microscopy, the challenges and how to overcome them, and a leading-edge example of how Förster's scientific impact is still evolving in many directions. While this review cannot possibly do justice to the burgeoning field of FRET microscopy, a few interesting applications such as threecolor FRET, which greatly expands the opportunities for investigating interactions of cellular components compared with the traditional two-color method, are described, and an extensive list of references is provided for the interested reader to access.
Yuansheng Sun; Horst Wallrabe; Soo-Ah Seo; Ammasi Periasamy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Biography; Historical Article; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2010-12-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1439-7641     ISO Abbreviation:  Chemphyschem     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-23     Completed Date:  2011-08-09     Revised Date:  2013-06-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100954211     Medline TA:  Chemphyschem     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  462-74     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
W. M. Keck Center for Cellular Imaging (KCCI), Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Gilmer Hall (064), McCormick Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Fluorescence Polarization / methods
Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer / history,  methods*,  standards
History, 20th Century
History, 21st Century
Microscopy, Fluorescence / history,  instrumentation,  methods*
Grant Support
RR025616/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; RR027409/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; S10 RR025616-01/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; S10 RR027409-01/RR/NCRR NIH HHS
Personal Name Subject
Personal Name Subject:
Theodor Förster

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