Nature Methods Article: New Concept for Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM)

Leica Microsystems recently published an application note explaining its novel concept for fast confocal FLIM (fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy) in Nature Methods.
 
Conventional FLIM solutions using time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) are intrinsically slow and difficult to implement, particularly for complex imaging workflows. The article covers the new technology that makes the acquisition of FLIM images possible at time scales which were previously unattainable. The SP8 FALCON system from Leica Microsystems is a fast-confocal platform with a completely integrated FLIM capability. It uses a novel concept for measuring fluorescence lifetime enabling biological processes to be followed with lifetime contrast.
 
To obtain fast results, lifetime imaging has been seamlessly integrated into the full spectral flexible confocal imaging and processing tools of the SP8 FALCON platform. The lifetime information is recorded as an extra contrast channel of a typical confocal image. Thus, recording FLIM data is now as easy as pressing a button.

Application examples are given for the biosensors: Flipper-TR that senses membrane tension; EPAC FLIM-FRET that detects cAMP; and ERK FRET FLIM that monitors signal transduction activities in cells.
 
The SP8 FALCON platform is a highly sensitive confocal and FLIM system which features hybrid detectors, full spectral tunability via SP detectors, white light laser (WLL) sources, and an acousto-optical beam splitter (AOBS). More information about the SP8 FALCON is available here.

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