Imaging membrane dynamics is an important goal, motivated by the abundance of biochemical and biophysical events that are orchestrated at, or by, cellular membranes. The short length scales, fast timescales, and environmental requirements of membrane phenomena present challenges to imaging experiments. Several technical advances offer means to overcome these challenges, and we describe here three powerful techniques applicable to membrane imaging: total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, fluorescence interference contrast (FLIC) microscopy, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). For each, we discuss the physics underpinning the approach, its practical implementation, and recent examples highlighting its achievements in exploring the membrane environment.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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