Lasers in Microfluorometry and Selective Photobiology

  • Alessandra Andreoni
Part of the Nato Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 34)


The study of the fluorescence emission has been demonstrated to be a powerful technique of investigation in biology1-4. Two types of fluorescence can be considered: (i) the primary fluorescence of the biomolecules themselves or (ii) the secondary fluorescence of probes which specifically bind to the biomolecules to be studied. In case (i), UV excitation is usually needed and information on isolated biomolecules can be readily gained. Unfortunately, due to the overlap of the absorption spectra of many biological constituents, it is very difficult to study a specifical biomolecule in its natural environment (i.e. “in vivo”) by technique (i). This limitation is overcome by technique (ii) in many examples. In the following we shall restrict our attention to the case of DNA. Nowadays, many fluorescent probes, most of which belonging to the Acridine class, are available which are specific for DNA. In general, they exhibit fluorescence properties which depend on the mechanism by which they interact with the DNA. As a consequence, most of them show base-specific fluorescence. In addition, since the biological surrounding of the DNA usually influences its accessibility to the probe molecules, also “in vivo” studies have revealed to be useful.


Fluorescence Decay Amino Acridine Fluorescence Decay Curve Primary Fluorescence Excitation Spot 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Andreoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro di Elettronica Quantistica e Strumentazione Elettronica del CNRIstituto di Fisica del PolitecnicoMilanoItaly

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