Fluorescence Lifetime Macro Imager for Biomedical Applications

Rajannya Sen, Alexander V Zhdanov, Ciaran Devoy, Mark Tangney, Liisa M Hirvonen, Andrei Nomerotski, Dmitri B Papkovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a new photoluminescence lifetime imager designed to map the molecular oxygen (O2) concentration in different phosphorescent samples ranging from solid-state, O2-sensitive coatings to live animal tissue samples stained with soluble O2-sensitive probes. In particular, the nanoparticle-based near-infrared probe NanO2-IR, which is excitable with a 625 nm light-emitting diode (LED) and emits at 760 nm, was used. The imaging system is based on the Timepix3 camera (Tpx3Cam) and the opto-mechanical adaptor, which also houses an image intensifier. O2 phosphorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (PLIM) is commonly required for various studies, but current platforms have limitations in their accuracy, general flexibility, and usability.

The system presented here is a fast and highly sensitive imager, which is built on an integrated optical sensor and readout chip module, Tpx3Cam. It is shown to produce high-intensity phosphorescence signals and stable lifetime values from surface-stained intestinal tissue samples or intraluminally stained fragments of the large intestine and allows the detailed mapping of tissue Olevels in about 20 s or less. Initial experiments on the imaging of hypoxia in grafted tumors in unconscious animals are also presented. We also describe how the imager can be re-configured for use with O2-sensitive materials based on Pt-porphyrin dyes using a 390 nm LED for the excitation and a bandpass 650 nm filter for emission. Overall, the PLIM imager was found to produce accurate quantitative measurements of lifetime values for the probes used and respective two-dimensional maps of the O2 concentration. It is also useful for the metabolic imaging of ex vivo tissue models and live animals.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere64321
Issue number194
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023


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