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A new approach to fluorescence lifetime sensing based on molecular distributions

Rolinski, O.J. and Birch, D.J.S. and McCartney, L.J. and Pickup, J.C. (2003) A new approach to fluorescence lifetime sensing based on molecular distributions. Proceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering, 4252 (1). pp. 1-11.

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Abstract

Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) from donor to acceptor molecules is one of the most powerful techniques for monitoring structure and dynamics. This is because FRET has a strong spatial dependence with angstroms resolution. This dependence includes the simplest case of a random distribution of acceptors for which an analytical solution exists for the fluorescence impulse response I(t). However, in general the acceptor distribution function p(r) is not random and a unique solution cannot be found for I(t). In many important applications of FRET eg in proteins, the simple random treatment is quite inappropriate and yet the information concerning conformation changes is preserved in p(r). One approach, which as been applied to the problem of determining p(r), is to make some assumptions as to its form eg Gaussian and then try to use this to describe I(t).