Abstract

We report what is to our knowledge the first optical imaging of voltage-clamped cells by second-harmonic generation. For the membrane-staining styryl dye di-4-ANEPPS, we determined the sensitivity of second-harmonic generation to be 18%/100 mV at an excitation wavelength of 850 nm. This sensitivity is significantly better than the optimal 10%/100 mV under fluorescence and further establishes the importance of second-harmonic generation for the functional imaging of membrane potential in living cells.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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