Multiphoton excitation fluorescence imaging applied to the study of embryo development

D. L. Wokosin, J. G. White

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The use of fluorescent probes is a powerful technique for the study of living specimens. Unfortunately, living tissues are vulnerable to photodamage from the excitation illumination and they make poor optical specimens due to their light-scattering nature. Multiphoton (two or more photon) excitation imaging offers significant advantages compared to laser-scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy for fluorescence microscopy of live specimens: considerable reduction in total sample fluorophore excitation and hence less photodamage, increased depth penetration due to increased tolerance for scattering, and increased detection sensitivity as more signal photons can be used for imaging. These advantages become more significant if 3D or 4D (multifocal plane, timelapse) imaging is undertaken. In addition, multiphoton excitation imaging allows UV excited probes such as DAPI or INDO I or endogenous fluorophores such as NAD(P)H and serotonin to be imaged without UV excitation. We, and others, have been evaluating the potential of multiphoton excitation imaging for biological microscopy and have found all of the aforementioned advantages particularly significant for laser-scanning fluorescence imaging of developing embryos; a summary of currently pursued developmental biology applications will be presented. The current status of all-solid-state ultrafast lasers as excitation sources will also be reviewed since these lasers offer tremendous potential for affordable, reliable, "turnkey" multiphoton imaging systems. The combination of demonstrated applications, simple ultrafast laser sources, and affordable commercial systems may promote a revolution in the study of embryogenesis with the light microscope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jul 8 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventCommercial Applications of Ultrafast Lasers 1998 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Jan 24 1998Jan 30 1998


  • Confocal
  • Embryo imaging
  • Laser scanning fluorescence microscopy
  • Three-photon excitation
  • Two-photon excitation
  • Ultrafast laser applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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