We report a wide-field fluorescence lifetime imaging microscope based on a low-repetition-rate (3.7-MHz) passively mode-locked diode-pumped laser source. This inexpensive and compact laser source operating in the visible and UV range can excite a wide range of fluorophores of biological interest. We demonstrate that the power of this laser source is highly sufficient for studying biological systems with low quantum yields (autofluorescence of tissues and stained living cells). The maximum measurable lifetime is also strongly increased with this laser source, as fluorescence intensity measurement can occur 250 ns after the excitation pulse.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(170.2520) Medical optics and biotechnology : Fluorescence microscopy
(170.3650) Medical optics and biotechnology : Lifetime-based sensing
S. Lévêque-Fort, D. N. Papadopoulos, S. Forget, F. Balembois, and P. Georges, "Fluorescence lifetime imaging with a low-repetition-rate passively mode-locked diode-pumped Nd:YVO4 oscillator," Opt. Lett. 30, 168-170 (2005)