Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

  • Klaus SuhlingEmail author
  • Liisa M. Hirvonen
  • James A. Levitt
  • Pei-Hua Chung
  • Carolyn Tregidgo
  • Dmitri Rusakov
  • Kaiyu Zheng
  • Simon Ameer-Beg
  • Simon Poland
  • Simon Coelho
  • Robert Henderson
  • Nikola Krstajic
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history


Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) is a key fluorescence microscopy technique to map the environment and interaction of fluorescent probes. It can report on photophysical events that are difficult or impossible to observe by fluorescence intensity imaging, because FLIM is largely independent of the local fluorophore concentration and excitation intensity. Many FLIM applications relevant for biology concern the identification of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study protein interactions and conformational changes. In addition, FLIM has been used to image viscosity, temperature, pH, refractive index, and ion and oxygen concentrations, all at the cellular level. The basic principles and recent advances in the application of FLIM, FLIM instrumentation, molecular probe, and FLIM detector development will be discussed.


Time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) Fluorescence microscopy Fluorescence spectroscopy Anisotropy Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) Fluorescence anisotropy imaging (FAIM) Time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy imaging (TR-FAIM) Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) Fluorescence enhancement Plasmonics 



We would like to thank the UK’s MRC, BBSRC, and EPSRC for funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Suhling
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liisa M. Hirvonen
    • 1
  • James A. Levitt
    • 1
  • Pei-Hua Chung
    • 1
  • Carolyn Tregidgo
    • 1
  • Dmitri Rusakov
    • 2
  • Kaiyu Zheng
    • 2
  • Simon Ameer-Beg
    • 3
    • 4
  • Simon Poland
    • 3
    • 4
  • Simon Coelho
    • 3
    • 4
  • Robert Henderson
    • 5
  • Nikola Krstajic
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Laboratory of Synaptic Imaging, Department of Clinical and Experimental EpilepsyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Randall Division of Cell and Molecular BiophysicsKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Richard Dimbleby Department of Cancer Research, Division of Cancer Studies, New Hunt’s HouseKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.CMOS Sensors & Systems Group, Integrated Micro & Nano Systems, School of EngineeringUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  6. 6.EPSRC IRC “Hub” in Optical Molecular Sensing & Imaging, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Queen’s Medical Research InstituteUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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