Two-versus one photon excitation laser scanning microscopy: Critical importance of excitation wavelength

Peter G. Bush, David L. Wokosin, Andrew C. Hall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


It is often anticipated that two-photon excitation (TPE) laser scanning microscopy should improve cell survival and tissue penetration relative to conventional onephoton excitation (OPE) confocal scanning laser microscopy (CLSM). However few studies have directly compared live cell imaging using one-vs two-photon laser scanning microscopy. We have used calcein-loaded in situ chondrocytes within cartilage as a model for quantitatively comparing these techniques. TPE reduced photo-bleaching and improved cell viability compared to OPE. Using improved detection sensitivity coupled with increased tissue penetration of the near infra-red TPE laser, it was possible to capture images deeper within the cartilage. However, the advantages of TPE vs OPE were strongly dependent on excitation wavelength. We conclude that optimising TPE conditions is essential for realizing the full benefits of this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2646-2657
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • 2 photon
  • Articular cartilage
  • Cell viability
  • Chondrocyte
  • Confocal laser microscopy
  • Confocal laser scanning microscopy
  • Image depth
  • Multiphoton
  • Non-linear
  • Photo-bleaching
  • Photo-toxicity
  • Regulatory volume decrease
  • Two photon
  • Two-photon laser scanning microscopy
  • Volume regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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