Multi-target spectrally resolved fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy

Nat Methods. 2016 Mar;13(3):257-62. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3740. Epub 2016 Jan 25.


We introduce a pattern-matching technique for efficient identification of fluorophore ratios in complex multidimensional fluorescence signals using reference fluorescence decay and spectral signature patterns of individual fluorescent probes. Alternating pulsed laser excitation at three different wavelengths and time-resolved detection on 32 spectrally separated detection channels ensures efficient excitation of fluorophores and a maximum gain of fluorescence information. Using spectrally resolved fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (sFLIM), we were able to visualize up to nine different target molecules simultaneously in mouse C2C12 cells. By exploiting the sensitivity of fluorescence emission spectra and the lifetime of organic fluorophores on environmental factors, we carried out fluorescence imaging of three different target molecules in human U2OS cells with the same fluorophore. Our results demonstrate that sFLIM can be used for super-resolution multi-target imaging by stimulated emission depletion (STED).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton / methods*
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity