Abstract

We built a time-resolved confocal fluorescence spectroscopy system equipped with the multichannel time-correlated single-photon-counting technique. The instrument provides a unique approach to study the fluorescence sensing of cell metabolism via analysis of the wavelength- and time-resolved intracellular auto fluorescence. The experiments on monolayered cell cultures show that with UV excitation at 365nm the time-resolved autofluorescence decays, dominated by free–bound reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide signals, are sensitive indicators for cell metabolism. However, the sensitivity decreases with the increase of excitation wavelength possibly due to the interference from free–bound flavin adenine dinucleotide fluorescence. The results demonstrate that time-resolved autofluorescence can be potentially used as an important contrast mechanism to detect epithelial precancer.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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