Abstract

We report on scanning far- and near-field two-photon microscopy of cell nuclei stained with DAPI and bisbenzimidazole Hoechst 33342 (BBI-342) with the 647-nm laser line of a cw ArKr mixed-gas laser. Two-photon-excited fluorescence images are obtained for 50–200 mW of average power at the sample. A nearly quadratic dependence of fluorescence intensity on laser power confirmed the two-photon effect. The nonlinearity was further supported by evidence of three-dimensional sectioning in a scanning far-field microscope. We find that the cw two-photon irradiation sufficient for imaging within typically 5 s does not significantly impair cell cycling of BBI-342-labeled live cells. Finally, high-resolution imaging in scanning near-field microscopy with good contrast is demonstrated.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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