Flow Cytometry versus Fluorescence Microscopy

  • José-Enrique O’Connor


Since the pioneer work of the botanist Matthias Jakob Schleiden and the zoologist Theodor Schwann in 1839, and of Rudolph Virchow in 1859, cell research progressed in two opposite directions. Cell biologists focused their increasingly more powerful microscopies into the cell structure to reveal the great morphological complexity of the cytoplasm. A growing number of subcellular organelles thus challenged the early biochemists to discover their specific molecular features and their coordination to maintain an ordered cell life. The biochemists’ answer to such a challenge consisted usually in tearing apart cells into their discrete components and obtaining information on molecules and pathways of each single part. The assembly of this jigsaw puzzle into an integrated view of a functional cell, and of such a cell within higher levels of organization, could not be achieved exclusively by pure biochemical methods. As early as in 1961, Jean Brachet wrote that “The cell biologist tries to explain in molecular terms what he sees under his microscope; he has become a molecular biologist. The biochemist in turn has become a biochemical cytologist, equally interested in the structure of the cell and the biochemical activity in which it is involved” (1).


Flow Cytometry Fluorescent Marker Subcellular Organelle Jigsaw Puzzle Exogenous Marker 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • José-Enrique O’Connor
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de ValenciaValenciaSpain

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