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Fluorescence lifetime imaging by time-correlated single-photon counting

: Becker, W.; Bergmann, A.; Hink, M.A.; König, K.; Benndorf, K.; Biskup, C.


Microscopy research and technique 63 (2004), Nr.1, S.58-66
ISSN: 1059-910X
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

We present a time-correlated single photon counting (TCPSC) technique that allows time-resolved multi-wavelength imaging in conjunction with a laser scanning microscope and a pulsed excitation source. The technique is based on a four-dimensional histogramming process that records the photon density over the time of the fluorescence decay, the x-y coordinates of the scanning area, and the wavelength. The histogramming process avoids any time gating or wavelength scanning and, therefore, yields a near-perfect counting efficiency. The time resolution is limited only by the transit time spread of the detector. The technique can be used with almost any confocal or two-photon laser scanning microscope and works at any scanning rate. We demonstrate the application to samples stained with several dyes and to CFP-YFP FRET.