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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 42, Iss. 16 — Jun. 1, 2003
  • pp: 2995–3004

Studying biological tissue with fluorescence lifetime imaging: microscopy, endoscopy, and complex decay profiles

Jan Siegel, Daniel S. Elson, Stephen E. D. Webb, K. C. Benny Lee, Alexis Vlandas, Giovanni L. Gambaruto, Sandrine Lévêque-Fort, M. John Lever, Paul J. Tadrous, Gordon W. H. Stamp, Andrew L. Wallace, Ann Sandison, Tim F. Watson, Fernando Alvarez, and Paul M. W. French  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 42, Issue 16, pp. 2995-3004 (2003)

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We have applied fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) to the autofluorescence of different kinds of biological tissue in vitro, including animal tissue sections and knee joints as well as human teeth, obtaining two-dimensional maps with functional contrast. We find that fluorescence decay profiles of biological tissue are well described by the stretched exponential function (StrEF), which can represent the complex nature of tissue. The StrEF yields a continuous distribution of fluorescence lifetimes, which can be extracted with an inverse Laplace transformation, and additional information is provided by the width of the distribution. Our experimental results from FLIM microscopy in combination with the StrEF analysis indicate that this technique is ready for clinical deployment, including portability that is through the use of a compact picosecond diode laser as the excitation source. The results obtained with our FLIM endoscope successfully demonstrated the viability of this modality, though they need further optimization. We expect a custom-designed endoscope with optimized illumination and detection efficiencies to provide significantly improved performance.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.2520) Medical optics and biotechnology : Fluorescence microscopy
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(170.6920) Medical optics and biotechnology : Time-resolved imaging

Original Manuscript: August 30, 2002
Revised Manuscript: October 23, 2002
Published: June 1, 2003

Jan Siegel, Daniel S. Elson, Stephen E. D. Webb, K. C. Benny Lee, Alexis Vlandas, Giovanni L. Gambaruto, Sandrine Lévêque-Fort, M. John Lever, Paul J. Tadrous, Gordon W. H. Stamp, Andrew L. Wallace, Ann Sandison, Tim F. Watson, Fernando Alvarez, and Paul M. W. French, "Studying biological tissue with fluorescence lifetime imaging: microscopy, endoscopy, and complex decay profiles," Appl. Opt. 42, 2995-3004 (2003)

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