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Förster (or fluorescence) resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a process involving the radiation-less transfer of energy from a "donor" fluorophore to an "acceptor" fluorophore. FRET technology enables the quantitative analysis of molecular dynamics in biophysics and in molecular biology, such as the monitoring of protein-protein interactions, protein-DNA interactions, and protein conformational changes. FRET-based biosensors have been utilized to monitor cellular dynamics not only in heterogeneous cellular populations, but also at the single-cell level in real time. Lately, applications of FRET-based biosensors range from basic biological to biomedical disciplines. Despite the diverse applications of FRET, FRET-based sensors still face many challenges. There is an increasing need for higher fluorescence resolution and improved specificity of FRET biosensors. Additionally, as more FRET-based technologies extend to medical diagnostics, the affordability of FRET reagents becomes a significant concern. Here, we will review current advances and limitations of FRET-based biosensor technology and discuss future FRET applications.


Sohila Zadran, Steve Standley, Kaylee Wong, Erick Otiniano, Arash Amighi, Michel Baudry. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based biosensors: visualizing cellular dynamics and bioenergetics. Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 2012 Nov;96(4):895-902

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PMID: 23053099

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