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Imaging Single Fluorescent Molecules At The Interface Of An Optical Fiber Probe By Evanescent Wave Excitation.

X. Fang, W. Tan
Published 1999 · Medicine, Chemistry

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We have developed a new fluorescent method for single-molecule detection (SMD) and imaging using an optical fiber probe. The fluorophores were excited by the evanescent wave field produced on the core surface of the optical fiber. This was achieved by exposing a section of the core of the optical fiber probe to the fluorophore solution. Both cylindrical and square optical fiber probes were used for SMD. The fluorescent signals were detected by an intensified charge-coupled device. Single rhodamine 6G molecules have been detected. The number of rhodamine 6G molecules imaged by the optical fiber probe showed an excellent linear relationship with the concentrations of the fluorophores. The SMD scheme was also applied to the imaging of biomolecules, such as molecular beacon DNA molecules, labeled with tetramethylrhodamine. Our results have shown that using an optical fiber is an easy yet effective approach to SMD. It represents a simpler fluorescent method for the detection of single-molecules in solution and at an interface.
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