What Is Autofluorescence
What is autofluorescence? Autofluorescence is the term given to describe the natural fluorescence that occurs in cells. The common compounds that give rise to this fluorescence signal include cyclic ring compounds like NAD(P)H, Collagen, and Riboflavin, as well as aromatic amino acids including tyrosine, tryptophan, phenylalanine.
These compounds absorb in UV to Blue range (355-488 nm), and emit in the Blue to Green range (350-550 nm). The consequence of this autofluorescence is the loss of signal resolution in these light ranges and a decrease in signal sensitivity.
Autofluorescence typically increases with cell size. Larger cells have more autofluorescence than small cells due to the simple fact that the larger cells often contain more autofluorescent compounds.
ABOUT TIM BUSHNELL, PHD
Tim Bushnell holds a PhD in Biology from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a co-founder of—and didactic mind behind—ExCyte, the world’s leading flow cytometry training company, which organization boasts a veritable library of in-the-lab resources on sequencing, microscopy, and related topics in the life sciences.More Written by Tim Bushnell, PhD