ERIC Number: EJ1049988
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Fluorescence Quantum Yield Measurements of Fluorescent Proteins: A Laboratory Experiment for a Biochemistry or Molecular Biophysics Laboratory Course
Wall, Kathryn P.; Dillon, Rebecca; Knowles, Michelle K.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v43 n1 p52-59 Jan-Feb 2015
Fluorescent proteins are commonly used in cell biology to assess where proteins are within a cell as a function of time and provide insight into intracellular protein function. However, the usefulness of a fluorescent protein depends directly on the quantum yield. The quantum yield relates the efficiency at which a fluorescent molecule converts absorbed photons into emitted photons and it is necessary to know for assessing what fluorescent protein is the most appropriate for a particular application. In this work, we have designed an upper-level, biochemistry laboratory experiment where students measure the fluorescence quantum yields of fluorescent proteins relative to a standard organic dye. Four fluorescent protein variants, enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (ECFP), enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), mCitrine, and mCherry, were used, however the methods described are useful for the characterization of any fluorescent protein or could be expanded to fluorescent quantum yield measurements of organic dye molecules. The laboratory is designed as a guided inquiry project and takes two, 4 hr laboratory periods. During the first day students design the experiment by selecting the excitation wavelength, choosing the standard, and determining the concentration needed for the quantum yield experiment that takes place in the second laboratory period. Overall, this laboratory provides students with a guided inquiry learning experience and introduces concepts of fluorescence biophysics into a biochemistry laboratory curriculum.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Laboratory Experiments, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, College Science, Science Experiments, Molecular Structure, Measurement, Inquiry, Light, Scientific Concepts
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A