Microsecond resolved single-molecule FRET time series measurements based on the line confocal optical system combined with hybrid photodetectors†
Single-molecule (sm) fluorescence time series measurements based on the line confocal optical system are a powerful strategy for the investigation of the structure, dynamics, and heterogeneity of biological macromolecules. This method enables the detection of more than several thousands of fluorescence photons per millisecond from single fluorophores, implying that the potential time resolution for measurements of the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency is 10 μs. However, the necessity of using imaging photodetectors in the method limits the time resolution in the FRET efficiency measurements to approximately 100 μs. In this investigation, a new photodetector called a hybrid photodetector (HPD) was incorporated into the line confocal system to improve the time resolution without sacrificing the length of the time series detection. Among several settings examined, the system based on a slit width of 10 μm and a high-speed counting device made the best of the features of the line confocal optical system and the HPD. This method achieved a time resolution of 10 μs and an observation time of approximately 5 ms in the sm-FRET time series measurements. The developed device was used for the native state of the B domain of protein A.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Complex molecular systems: supramolecules, biomolecules and interfaces