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Single Molecule Workshop

4th International Workshop on
"Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Ultrasensitive Analysis in the Life Sciences"

September 30 - October 2, 1998 in Berlin, Germany

Image Single Molecule Workshop 1998


The past 10 years have seen an ever increasing interest in the detection and spectroscopy of single molecules. Especially in genetic and biochemical screening and assaying, single molecule detection (SMD) under biologically native conditions may become an important issue. The experimental method of choice in SMD is laser-induced fluorescence detection either on surfaces or SMD of freely moving molecules in liquids. In the first case, scanning techniques as Near-Field Scanning Microscopy or Confocal Scanning Microscopy, are the dominating techniques, although interesting results are emerging from the application of ultra-sensitive camera systems. In the second case, the detection of single molecules in microdroplets, in flowing streams, and in (sub) picoliter detection volumes are the main approaches.

The potential applications of SMD are broad and far reaching. One of the most challenging topics is the application of SMD in fast DNA sequencing. In this context, the incorporation of time-resolved techniques in SMD allows very compact measurement systems capable of identifying the four nucleotides in a DNA-sequence according to their fluorescence lifetime. Moreover, a significant increase in the signal-to-noise ratio can be achieved by intelligent data analysis methods, that are taking into account the time behaviour of background signals/impurities.

Already now, first applications have been reported from industry research groups concerning the use of SMD with compact picosecond diode laser systems for genotyping. In the same context, two photon SMD has been reported using blue and green absorbing dyes as marker molecules. Similar techniques may prove very useful when incorporated into miniaturized and/or parallelized systems for capillary electrophoresis, high density micro plate screening etc.

Invited speakers

  • Pat Ambrose (Los Alamos, USA)
  • Christoph Bräuchle (Munich, Germany)
  • Katrin Kneipp (Cambridge/Berlin, Germany)
  • W.E. Moerner (San Diego, USA)
  • Shuming Nie (Indiana, USA)
  • Rudolf Rigler (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Hansgeorg Schindler (Linz, Austria)
  • Claus Seidel (Göttingen, Germany)


The program is still available for download:


The workshop on "Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Ultra Sensitive Analysis in the Life Sciences" is an annual event since 1995. To get an impression of our Single Molecule Workshops have a look at the video below.

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