Simple independent enzyme-catalyzed reactions distributed homogeneously throughout an aqueous environment cannot adequately explain the regulation of metabolic and other cellular processes in vivo. Such an unstructured system results in unacceptably slow substrate turnover rates and consumes inordinate amounts of cellular energy. Current approaches to resolving compartmentalization in living cells requires the partitioning of the molecular species in question such that its localization can be resolved with fluorescence microscopy. Standard imaging approaches will not resolve localization of protein activity for proteins that are ubiquitously distributed, but whose function requires a change in state of the protein. The small heat shock protein sHSP27 exists as both dimers and large multimers and is distributed homogeneously throughout the cytoplasm. A fusion of the green fluorescent protein variant S65T and sHSP27 is used to assess the ability of diffusion rate histograms to resolve compartmentalization of the 2 dominant oligomeric species of sHSP27. Diffusion rates were measured by multiphoton fluorescence photobleaching recovery. Under physiologic conditions, diffusion rate histograms resolved at least 2 diffusive transport rates within a living cell potentially corresponding to the large and small oligomers of sHSP27. Given that oligomerization is often a means of regulation, compartmentalization of different oligomer species could provide a means for efficient regulation and localization of sHsp27 activity.