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Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM)

TIRFM uses an evanescent wave to selectively illuminate and excite fluorophores in a restricted region of a cell immediately adjacent to the plasma membrane. In combination with multicolor labeling of vesicle-resident proteins and cargos, TIRFM is used to study the dynamics of exo/endocytosis processes in secretory cells. With frame-rates in the millisecond time-scale and very high z-axis spatial resolution, TIRMF captures the different steps of docking, exocytic fusion and endocytosis of individual vesicles.
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