Biomedical luminescence imaging in the near-infrared (NIR, 700-1700 nm) region has shown great potential in visualizing biological processes and pathological conditions at cellular and animal levels, owing to the reduced tissue absorption and scattering compared to light in the visible (400-700 nm) region. To overcome the background interference and signal attenuation during intensity-based luminescence imaging, lifetime imaging has demonstrated a reliable imaging modality complementary to intensity measurement. Several selective or environment-responsive probes have been successfully developed for luminescence lifetime imaging and multiplex detection. This review summarizes recent advances in the application of luminescence lifetime imaging at cellular and animal levels in NIR-I and NIR-II regions. Finally, the challenges and further directions of luminescence lifetime imaging are also discussed.
Keywords: Near-infrared probes; lifetime imaging; luminescence imaging; second near-infrared window; stimuli responsive.
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