Multi-photon excitation (MPE) microscopy plays a growing role among microscopical techniques utilized for studying biological matter. In conjunction with confocal microscopy it can be considered the imaging workhorse of life science laboratories. Its roots can be found in a fundamental work written by Maria Goeppert Mayer more than 70 years ago. Nowadays, 2PE and MPE microscopes are expected to increase their impact in areas such biotechnology, neurobiology, embryology, tissue engineering, materials science where imaging can be coupled to the possibility of using the microscopes in an active way, too. As well, 2PE implementations in noninvasive optical bioscopy or laser-based treatments point out to the relevance in clinical applications.
Here we report about some basic aspects related to the phenomenon, implications in three-dimensional imaging microscopy, practical aspects related to design and realization of MPE microscopes, and we only give a list of potential applications and variations on the theme in order to offer a starting point for advancing new applications and developments.