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Microsc Res Tech. 2006 Nov;69(11):861-74.

Frequency domain lifetime and spectral imaging microscopy.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


In the femtoliter observation volume of a two-photon microscope, multiple fluorophores can be present and complex photophysics can take place. Combined detection of the fluorescence emission spectra and lifetimes can provide deeper insight into specimen properties than these two imaging modalities taken separately. Therefore, we have developed a detection scheme based on a frequency-modulated multichannel photomultiplier, which measures simultaneously the spectrum and the lifetime of the emitted fluorescence. Experimentally, the efficiency of the frequency domain lifetime measurement was compared to a time domain set-up. The performance of this spectrally and lifetime-resolved microscope was evaluated on reference specimens and living cells labeled with three different stains targeting the membrane, the mitochondria, and the nucleus.


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