Measurements of very slow diffusive processes in membranes, like the diffusion of integral membrane proteins, by fluorescence recovery after photo bleaching (FRAP) are hampered by bleaching of the probe during the read out of the fluorescence recovery. In the limit of long observation time (very slow diffusion as in the case of large membrane proteins), this bleaching may cause errors to the recovery function and thus provides error-prone diffusion coefficients. In this work we present a new approach to a two-dimensional closed form analytical solution of the reaction-diffusion equation, based on the addition of a dissipative term to the conventional diffusion equation. The calculation was done assuming (i) a Gaussian laser beam profile for bleaching the spot and (ii) that the fluorescence intensity profile emerging from the spot can be approximated by a two-dimensional Gaussian. The detection scheme derived from the analytical solution allows for diffusion measurements without the constraint of observation bleaching. Recovery curves of experimental FRAP data obtained under non-negligible read-out bleaching for native membranes (rabbit endoplasmic reticulum) on a planar solid support showed excellent agreement with the analytical solution and allowed the calculation of the lipid diffusion coefficient.
Endress, E., S. Weigelt, G. Reents, T.M. Bayerl
Eur. Phys. J. E