Single-Molecule Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) is a technique used to measure nanometer-scale distances between specific sites on an individual molecule, usually as a function of time.
In this entry, we review smFRET, a powerful technique for measuring distances and monitoring dynamics at the molecular scale. In this technique, the researcher monitors distances between two or more individual fluorescent labels by measuring how efficiently electronic energy is transferred between them, a phenomenon known as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). Its power lies in its ability to detect distance changes as small as ~0.3 nm in individual molecules (or pairs of molecules) within a heterogeneous population (Roy et al. 2008). Although it requires a specialized fluorescence microscope, smFRET...
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