Investigating cell membrane structure and dynamics with TCSPC-FLIM

Alix Le Marois, Dylan M. Owen, Klaus Suhling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


We report the use of Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) in a polarization-resolved Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) setup for the investigation of cell membrane structural and dynamic properties. This technique allows us to study the orientation and mobility of fluorescent membrane dyes, namely di-4-ANEPPDHQ and DiO, in model bilayers of different lipid compositions. Dipole alignment and extent of rotational motion can be linked to membrane order and fluidity. Comparison of the time-resolved anisotropy decays of the two fluorescent dyes suggests that rotational motion of membrane constituents is restricted in liquid-ordered phases, and appears to be limited to the region of aliphatic tails in liquid-disordered phases. In living cells, understanding the membrane structure provides crucial information on its functional properties, such as exo- and endocytosis, cell mobility and signal transduction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781628414196
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2015


  • liquid-ordered and disordered phases
  • membrane order
  • Time-resolved Fluorescence Anisotropy Imaging


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