, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 203-211,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 Oct 2012

Analysis of Simulated Fluorescence Intensities Decays by a New Maximum Entropy Method Algorithm


A new algorithm for the Maximum Entropy Method (MEM) is proposed for recovering the lifetime distribution in time-resolved fluorescence decays. The procedure is based on seeking the distribution that maximizes the Skilling entropy function subjected to the chi-squared constraint χ 2 ~ 1 through iterative linear approximations, LU decomposition of the Hessian matrix of the lagrangian problem and the Golden Section Search for backtracking. The accuracy of this algorithm has been investigated through comparisons with simulated fluorescence decays both of narrow and broad lifetime distributions. The proposed approach is capable to analyse datasets of up to 4,096 points with a discretization ranging from 100 to 1,000 lifetimes. A good agreement with non linear fitting estimates has been observed when the method has been applied to multi-exponential decays. Remarkable results have been also obtained for the broad lifetime distributions where the position is recovered with high accuracy and the distribution width is estimated within 3 %. These results indicate that the procedure proposed generates MEM lifetime distributions that can be used to quantify the real heterogeneity of lifetimes in a sample.