Biophysical nanotools for single-molecule dynamics
The focus of the cell biology field is now shifting from characterizing cellular activities to organelle and molecular behaviors. This process accompanies the development of new biophysical visualization techniques that offer high spatial and temporal resolutions with ultra-sensitivity and low cell toxicity. They allow the biology research community to observe dynamic behaviors from scales of single molecules, organelles, cells to organoids, and even live animal tissues. In this review, we summarize these biophysical techniques into two major classes: the mechanical nanotools like dynamic force spectroscopy (DFS) and the optical nanotools like single-molecule and super-resolution microscopy. We also discuss their applications in elucidating molecular dynamics and functionally mapping of interactions between inter-cellular networks and intra-cellular components, which is key to understanding cellular processes such as adhesion, trafficking, inheritance, and division.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12551-018-0447-y