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Biomed Opt Express. 2011 Feb 28;2(4):739-47. doi: 10.1364/BOE.2.000739.

Compact ultrafast semiconductor disk laser: targeting GFP based nonlinear applications in living organisms.


We present a portable ultrafast Semiconductor Disk Laser (SDL) (or vertical extended cavity surface emitting laser-VECSELs), to be used for nonlinear microscopy. The SDL is modelocked using a quantum-dot semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM), delivering an average output power of 287 mW, with 1.5 ps pulses at 500 MHz and a central wavelength of 965 nm. Specifically, despite the fact of having long pulses and high repetition rates, we demonstrate the potential of this laser for Two-Photon Excited Fluorescence (TPEF) imaging of in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) expressing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in a set of neuronal processes and cell bodies. Efficient TPEF imaging is achieved due to the fact that this wavelength matches the peak of the two-photon action cross section of this widely used fluorescent marker. The SDL extended versatility is shown by presenting Second Harmonic Generation images of pharynx, uterus, body wall muscles and its potential to be used to excite other different commercial dyes. Importantly this non-expensive, turn-key, compact laser system could be used as a platform to develop portable nonlinear bio-imaging devices.


(140.3538) Lasers, pulsed; (140.5960) Semiconductor lasers; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (180.4315) Nonlinear microscopy; (180.6900) Three-dimensional microscopy; (190.4180) Multiphoton processes

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