Development of low-cost instrumentation for single point autofluorescence lifetime measurements

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Title: Development of low-cost instrumentation for single point autofluorescence lifetime measurements
Authors: Lagarto, J
Hares, JD
Dunsby, CW
French, PMW
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Autofluorescence lifetime measurements, which can provide label-free readouts in biological tissues, contrasting e.g. different types and states of tissue matrix components and different cellular metabolites, may have significant clinical potential for diagnosis and to provide surgical guidance. However, the cost of the instrumentation typically used currently presents a barrier to wider implementation. We describe a low-cost single point time-resolved autofluorescence instrument, exploiting modulated laser diodes for excitation and FPGA-based circuitry for detection, together with a custom constant fraction discriminator. Its temporal accuracy is compared against a “gold-standard” instrument incorporating commercial TCSPC circuitry by resolving the fluorescence decays of reference fluorophores presenting single and double exponential decay profiles. To illustrate the potential to read out intrinsic contrast in tissue, we present preliminary measurements of autofluorescence lifetime measurements of biological tissues ex vivo. We believe that the lower cost of this instrument could enhance the potential of autofluorescence lifetime metrology for clinical deployment and commercial development.
Issue Date: 25-May-2017
Date of Acceptance: 4-Apr-2017
ISSN: 1573-4994
Publisher: Springer
Start Page: 1643
End Page: 1654
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Fluorescence
Volume: 27
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/I02770X/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Biochemical Research Methods
Chemistry, Analytical
Chemistry, Physical
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Fluorescence lifetime
Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy
0301 Analytical Chemistry
0306 Physical Chemistry (Incl. Structural)
Chemical Physics
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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