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Proceedings Paper

Advanced time-correlated single photon counting techniques for spectroscopy and imaging in biomedical systems
Author(s): Wolfgang Becker; Axel Bergmann; Giovanni Luca Biscotti; Angelika Rueck
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Paper Abstract

Time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) is based on the detection of single photons of a periodic light signal, measurement of the detection time of the photons, and the build-up of the photon distribution versus the time in the signal period. TCSPC achieves a near ideal counting efficiency and transit-time-spread-limited time resolution for a given detector. The drawback of traditional TCSPC is the low count rate, long acquisition time, and the fact that the technique is one-dimensional, i.e. limited to the recording of the pulse shape of light signals. We present an advanced TCSPC technique featuring multi-dimensional photon acquisition and a count rate close to the capability of currently available detectors. The technique is able to acquire photon distributions versus wavelength, spatial coordinates, and the time on the ps scale, and to record fast changes in the fluorescence lifetime and fluorescence intensity of a sample. Biomedical applications of advanced TCSPC techniques are time-domain optical tomography, recording of transient phenomena in biological systems, spectrally resolved fluorescence lifetime imaging, FRET experiments in living cells, and the investigation of dye-protein complexes by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. We demonstrate the potential of the technique for selected applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5340, Commercial and Biomedical Applications of Ultrafast Lasers IV, (1 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.529143
Show Author Affiliations
Wolfgang Becker, Becker and Hickl GmbH (Germany)
Axel Bergmann, Becker and Hickl GmbH (Germany)
Giovanni Luca Biscotti, Becker and Hickl GmbH (Germany)
Angelika Rueck, Univ. of Ulm (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5340:
Commercial and Biomedical Applications of Ultrafast Lasers IV
Joseph Neev; Christopher B. Schaffer; Andreas Ostendorf, Editor(s)

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