FLIC Microscopy

The strength of coupling between cells and chip depends mainly on the distance between the cell membrane and the underlying chip. It was possible to measure this distance with the invention of a new technique.

FLIC is the acronym of Fluorescence Interference-Contrast. When measuring fluorescent dyes in close contact to a reflecting surface, the fluorescent intensity becomes a function of the distance to the surface. As the reflecting surface behaves like a mirror, both exciting and emitting light become standing waves with knots at the surface.

This effect can be measured in a microscope with fluorescent dyes prepared on transparent steps of different height. In our case, we used silicon dioxide on silicon chips. With steps smaller than the cells it was possible to measure cell substrate distances with very high precision.

We offer here on the left side two demo applets to play with the main FLIC parameters. We also have installed a distance server with precalculated optical setup to fit from your fluorescence intensities and the chips' oxide thicknesses the distance online. If you want to do FLIC measurements, please contact Prof. Fromherz.

Choose one of the interactive FLIC Simulations below!
Distance Server
for 4 oxides
 Distance Server


Fluorescence Interference-Contrast Microscopy on Oxidized Silicon using a Monomolecular Dye Layer.
A. Lambacher, P. Fromherz, Appl.Physics A 63 (1996) 207-216

Fluorescence Interference-Contrast Microscopy of Cell Adhesion on Oxidized Silicon.
D. Braun, P. Fromherz, Appl.Physics A, 65 (1997) 341-348

Fluorescence Interferometry of Neuronal Cell Adhesion on Microstructured Silicon.
D. Braun, P. Fromherz, Phys.Rev.Lett. 81 (1998) 5241-5244

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