Chemists and physiologists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed an imaging technique that relies on fluorescence spectroscopy to provide detailed information about a cell's physiology. The scientists combined spectroscopic detection with nanoliter sampling and capillary electrophoresis. Developed by Jonathan Sweedler, a chemistry professor and researcher at the university's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the technique involves placing a fresh isolated cell in a microvial, homogenizing it and drawing the cell into a capillary tube where chemicals separate it by electrophoresis. A laser stimulates the cell, and a CCD/spectrograph collects the resulting fluorescence for analysis. The detection process enables researchers to simultaneously identify and measure more than 30 compounds in a single cell.