The material for the Invitrogen Molecular Probes School of Fluorescence was written by the bench scientists that created The Molecular Probes Handbook—A Guide to Fluorescent Probes and Labeling Technologies and who continue to develop the fluorescence reagents and instruments that we offer. It was our aim to include everything that we wish we had known when we started working with fluorescent reagents. We then asked our Technical Support team to review each section to make sure we did not overlook anything. Not surprisingly, customers who call our Technical Support staff have many of the same general questions about their experiments as we do about ours, especially for those of us just starting out with these techniques.
Our desire is that the information here will help you plan your experiment—all the way from cells and protocols, to helping you tell if something has gone wrong, and figuring out alternative approaches for next time. We chose to cover the topics that we usually discuss with our colleagues before or after starting a new experiment, including choosing the best model system, deciding on controls, and matching the fluorescent reagent to the filter sets. After the experiment is done, we spend just about as much time discussing the interpretation of the result, troubleshooting issues and problems, and deciding what to change for the next experiment. Even though you can’t be right here in the lab with us when you do your experiment, we hope you will benefit from the information we’ve collected for the Molecular Probes School of Fluorescence.