Fluorescent lifetime imaging is an optical technique that facilitates imaging molecular interactions and cellular functions. Because the excited lifetime of a fluorophore is sensitive to its local microenvironment,1, 2 measurement of fluorescent lifetimes can be used to accurately detect regional changes in temperature, pH, and ion concentration. However, typical state of the art fluorescent lifetime methods are severely limited when it comes to acquisition time (on the order of seconds to minutes) and video rate imaging. Here we show that compressed ultrafast photography (CUP) can be used in conjunction with fluorescent lifetime imaging to overcome these acquisition rate limitations. Frame rates up to one hundred billion frames per second have been demonstrated with compressed ultrafast photography using a streak camera.3 These rates are achieved by encoding time in the spatial direction with a pseudo-random binary pattern. The time domain information is then reconstructed using a compressed sensing algorithm, resulting in a cube of data (x,y,t) for each readout image. Thus, application of compressed ultrafast photography will allow us to acquire an entire fluorescent lifetime image with a single laser pulse. Using a streak camera with a high-speed CMOS camera, acquisition rates of 100 frames per second can be achieved, which will significantly enhance our ability to quantitatively measure complex biological events with high spatial and temporal resolution. In particular, we will demonstrate the ability of this technique to do single-shot fluorescent lifetime imaging of cells and microspheres.
J. V. Thompson, J. D. Mason, H. T. Beier, and J. N. Bixler, "High speed fluorescence imaging with compressed ultrafast photography," Proc. SPIE 10076, High-Speed Biomedical Imaging and Spectroscopy: Toward Big Data Instrumentation and Management II, 1007613 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 01, 2017; Published: 22 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251025.
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