Novel high signal-to-noise spectroscopic experiments that probe the dynamics of microscopic objects have the potential to reveal complex intracellular biochemical mechanisms, or the slow relaxations of soft matter systems. This article reviews the implementation of Fourier imaging correlation spectroscopy (FICS), a phase-selective approach to fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy that employs a unique route to elevate signal levels while acquiring detailed information about molecular coordinate trajectories. The review demonstrates the broad applicability of FICS by discussing two recent studies. The dynamics of yeast mitochondria are characterized with FICS and provide detailed information about the influence of specific cytoskeletal elements on the movement of this organelle. In another set of experiments, polarization-modulated FICS captures conformational dynamics and molecular translational dynamics of the fluorescent protein DsRed, and analyses by four-point correlation and joint distribution functions of the corresponding data reveal statistically meaningful pathways of DsRed switching between different optical conformations.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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