In the present paper, we demonstrate a technique that can simultaneously localize single epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs) in live cells and record their spectra as well. This technique has the advantages of both single-molecule sensitivity and parallel detection. By exploiting the environment-induced spectral changes of fluorescently tagged EGFRs, we disclosed that the environments of EGFR dimers in activated cells differ from the environments of EGFRs in cells at rest. This simple approach could open a route for devising a large number of biologically relevant applications that offer the advantages of minimum perturbation and single-molecule parallel detection.
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