Single-Molecule Spectroscopy and Tracking, Superresolution Imaging, and Trapping of Single Biomolecules and Photosynthetic Proteins

Executive Summary:
The Moerner Laboratory utilizes laser spectroscopy and microscopy of single molecules to probe biological processes, one biomolecule at a time.  Primary thrusts include development and application of fluorescence microscopy far beyond the optical diffraction limit by PALM/STORM and STED approaches, invention and validation of methods for precise and accurate 3D optical microscopy in cells, and trapping of single biomolecules in solution for extended study.  These approaches are applied to explore protein localization patterns in bacteria, to measure structures of amyloid aggregates in cells, to define the behavior of signaling proteins in the primary cilium, to quantify photodynamics for photosynthetic proteins and enzymes, and to observe the dynamics of DNA and RNA in cells and viruses.

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Single-Molecule Basics, Selected Bibliography and Reviews

Superresolution Cellular Studies in 2D and 3D Using Single-Molecule Active Control Microscopy (SMACM) and STED Microscopy

Development of 3D Superresolution Imaging Using Single-Molecule Emitters

Trapping Single Photosynthetic Proteins and Enzymes in Solution for Extended Study
Biophysics, Single-Molecule Tracking in 2D and 3D in Cells

Chaperonins and Protein Aggregation Diseases

Other Single-Molecule Studies

Ultrasensitive Detection

Past Projects:

Photorefractive Polymers


NIH Exploratory Center for Single-Molecule Imaging in Cells

Stanford Biophysics Program

Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford

Stanford ChEM-H

The Bio-X Program at Stanford University


Research Support

In recent years, this research has been supported in part by the following organizations, to whom we are grateful!

      • The National Institutes of Health
      • The National Science Foundation
      • The Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences