Widely tunable ultrafast lasers have enabled a large number of biological imaging techniques including point scanning multiphoton excited fluorescence (MPEF), SHG/THG and stimulated Raman imaging. Tunable ultrafast lasers offer spectral agility, covering the entire relative transparency window in live tissue (700-1300nnm) and flexibility with multi-color, synchronized outputs to support sophisticated label free techniques (e.g. stimulated Raman modalities). More recently newly available high peak power lasers based on Ytterbium technology drive advances in two-photon light-sheet, 3 photon excited fluorescence and holographic patterning for optogenetics photo-stimulation. These laser platforms offer a unique blend of compactness, ease of use and cost efficiency, and ideally complement tunable platforms typically based on Ti:Sapphire and IR optical parametric oscillators (OPO). We present various types of ultrafast laser architectures, link their optical characteristics to key bio-imaging requirements, and present relevant examples and images illustrating their impact in biological science. In particular we review the use of ultrafast lasers in optogenetics and fast in-vivo Calcium imaging deep in mouse brain.
Julien Klein, "Widely tunable, high peak power ultrafast laser sources in biological imaging (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10069, Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVII, 100690K (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253052.5380018885001.
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