Simultaneous confocal lifetime imaging of multiple fluorophores using the intensity-modulated multiple-wavelength scanning (IMS) technique


KjellCarlsson Tel: 46 8790 7293; fax: 46 8 20 56 09; email:


We demonstrate the simultaneous recording of confocal lifetime images of multiple fluorophores. The confocal microscope used in the study combines intensity-modulated laser illumination, lock-in detection and spectral separation of the fluorescent light. A theoretical investigation is presented that describes how the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) depends on various factors such as modulation frequency, degree of modulation and number of detected photons. Theory predicts that, compared with ordinary intensity images, lifetime images will have a SNR that is, at best, approximately four times lower. Experimental results are presented that confirm this prediction.