Single-fluorophore imaging with an unmodified epifluorescence microscope and conventional video camera

K. Adachi, K. Kinosita, T. Ando*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Single fluorophores in aqueous solution were imaged in real time with a conventional silicon-intensified target video camera connected to an unmodified commercial microscope (IX70, Olympus) with epifluorescence excitation with a high-pressure mercury lamp. Neither a powerful laser nor an extremely sensitive video camera was required. Three experimental systems were used to demonstrate quantitatively that individual, moving or stationary Cy3 fluorophores could be imaged with the microscope: Cy3-gelsolin attached to an actin filament sliding over heavy meromyosin, sliding actin filaments sparsely labelled with Cy3, and heavy meromyosin labelled with one or two Cy3 fluorophores. The results should encourage many laboratories to attempt 'single-molecule physiology' in which the functions and mechanisms of molecular machines are studied at the single-molecule level in an environment where the biological machines are fully active.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cy3
  • Epifluorescence microscope
  • Single-molecule imaging
  • SIT camera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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