Latest paper: optical fibers to replace microscopes for single molecule fluorescence detection

5 Février 2010 , Rédigé par JW Publié dans #Recent research work

Intensity is not enough. Many techniques in optical microscopy take advantage of analysis methods based on single molecule detection events. These measurements provide access to a wide variety of data such as local concentration, structure or mobility of molecules. However, single molecule detection is a challenging task, which requires complex microscope apparatus and is very difficult to take out of the lab.


A mobile endoscope to observe single molecules.

On collaboration with Bordeaux I University (France), my team has recently demonstrated the possibility to detect single fluorescent molecules with an optical fiber. The original system contains a glass microbead at the end of the optical fiber which works as a tiny lens to focus light. The fiber-microbead ensemble is also used to collect the low amount of light emitted by the individual molecules. That way, the bulky microscope is replaced by a remote fiber sensor connected to a miniaturized USB-connected device. This patented technique opens biomedicine and environment monitoring to single molecule analysis.



H. Aouani, F. Deiss, J. Wenger, P. Ferrand, N. Sojic, H. Rigneault, "Optical-fiber-microsphere for remote fluorescence correlation spectroscopy", Optics Express 17, 18912-18919 (2009)
Free download here