Fluorescence lifetime (FL) measurements are used to provide information on the molecular makeup of a sample. They can be used in a very wide range of applications, such as imaging of cell structures, tracking of antibodies and DNA sequencing in biology, detection of cancer cells in medicine and quality control in pharmacy.
Typical techniques for FL measurement require sophisticated and expansive instrumentation and are intrinsically slow due to the need to sample fluorescence light resulting from multiple excitation light pulses. Another method is the direct waveform sampling (DWS), where a photo detector is exposed to a single pulse of fluorescence light and the FL is derived from the shape of the resulting electronics signal (waveform). In this way, the FL can be acquired faster, but so far the practicality of the DWS method practical, but also extremely cost effective.
The objective of this project is to develop a FL acquisition system, based on the recent improvements in technologies. Compared to currently used methods, such system will be simple, compact, and at least an order of magnitude less expansive. It will be able to acquire FL in real time and be easily expanded to simultaneous multi spectral acquisition. The device developed for this project will be directly applications, such as pharmacy and food industry and contribute to activity in many fields of science and medicine.