Olympus has launched a new diffusion measurement package for its ASW 2.1 software that enables researchers to analyse molecular diffusion inside cells.
The software allows researchers to do three different types of diffusion studies using Olympus Fluoview confocal microscope systems, providing flexibility for a variety of cell biology and biophysics requirements.
The first type of diffusion study, Point Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (Point FCS), allows particle-by-particle analysis of signal fluctuation.
By recording the fluctuation of fluorescence intensity, the number of particles that are moving can be calculated.
With its high spatial and temporal resolution, this technique is said to work well for fast-moving particles.
It can output data based on either the diffusion constant or number of molecules, depending on the researcher's needs.
In addition, it has the capability to analyse cross-correlations.
The second type of diffusion study, Raster Scan Image Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS), provides measurement in regions, with diffusion measurement in any area of the cell.
It is able to measure a range of intracellular structures, from molecules in solution to the proteins on a cell membrane.
By limiting its area of calculation to a small region of interest, RICS can create a diffusion map from a set of 2D images, helping scientists understand different diffusion times in different locations within the cell.
Results in terms of either diffusion constant or number of molecules are available, and this method too can analyse cross-correlations.
The third type of diffusion study that can be handled by the software is Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP), a widely used fluorescence analysis technique that allows researchers to analyse the diffusion constant in a particular region as molecules diffuse back into that area after it has been photobleached.