The nondestructive chemical analysis of biological processes in the crowded intracellular environment, at cellular membranes, and between cells with a spatial resolution well beyond the diffraction limit is made possible through Nano-Biophotonics. A number of sophisticated schemes employing nanoparticles, nano-apertures, or shaping of the probe volume in the far field have significantly extended our knowledge about lipid rafts, macromolecular complexes, such as chromatin, vesicles, and cellular organelles, and their interactions and trafficking within the cell. Here, I review some of the most recent developments in Nano-Biophotonics that already are or soon will become relevant to the analysis of intracellular processes. The pros and cons of the various techniques will be discussed and an outlook of their prospects for the near future will be provided. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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