ISO_logo ISO_logo

Unveiling Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

Fluorescence-lifetime imaging (FLIM) stands as a cornerstone in medical diagnostics research, offering profound insights into cellular dynamics and molecular interactions. Leveraging precision lasers, fluorescent dyes, and cutting-edge recording devices, FLIM provides a microscopic view into the intricate world of living cells, unveiling critical information for clinical diagnosis and unraveling the mysteries of immune responses, allergies, and cancer.


The Essence of Fluorescence-lifetime imaging (FLIM)

At the heart of FLIM lies the measurement of fluorescence lifetimes, where differences in the decay rates of excited fluorophore dyes serve as the foundation for image generation. By scanning a sample with a laser beam under a microscope, FLIM captures fluorescence signals, with the decay rate reflecting variations in pH, ion concentration, fluorophore concentration, and environmental refractive index.


Time-Correlated Single-Photon Counting (TCSPC)

TCSPC, the predominant method in FLIM, quantifies the time between excitation and photon emission. Utilizing sensitive detectors such as single-photon avalanche photo diodes (SPADs) or photo-multiplier tubes (PMTs), TCSPC constructs intensity-based histograms from millions of recorded start-stop times, enabling the measurement of lifetimes as short as a few picoseconds.


The Gating Method

An alternative approach to FLIM, the gating method, employs a delay generator and a gated optical intensifier (GOI) in conjunction with a charge-coupled device (CCD) detector. By capturing fluorescence emission after controlled delay times, this method achieves sub-nanosecond resolution, providing a comprehensive depiction of fluorescence decay.


Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Microscopy

Complementing FLIM, FRET microscopy delves deeper into protein-protein interactions by measuring the transfer of excitation energy between fluorophores. With a distance-dependent efficiency, FRET elucidates spatial proximities between molecules, offering invaluable insights into molecular dynamics.


Biomedical Imaging and Diagnostics

While conventional imaging techniques have served as staples in medical diagnosis, they often fall short in capturing the intricacies of biological processes. Enhanced imaging modalities, like FLIM and FRET microscopy, bridge this gap by enabling in-depth exploration of tissue composition, morphology, and function, thereby revolutionizing medical diagnostics.


Optical Imaging Techniques

Biological tissue, with its turbid and heterogeneous nature, presents challenges for imaging. Nonetheless, advancements in two-photon fluorescence microscopy and emerging technologies are overcoming these barriers, facilitating high-resolution imaging at unprecedented depths.

In the realm of medical diagnostics and research, fluorescence-lifetime imaging techniques represent a beacon of hope, offering unparalleled insights into the microscopic realm of cells and molecules. As pioneers in imaging systems and optical solutions, Shanghai Optics remains dedicated to empowering researchers, medical practitioners, and industry professionals with the tools needed to push the boundaries of scientific exploration. 

Do not hesitate to contact Shanghai Optics today. We’d be more than happy to discuss your projects and how to best bring them to fruition.


 Build Your Own Lens

 Request For Quote

 Contact Us