Press Releases > Active-sensing Spectral Fluorescence Lifetime Imager

Active-sensing Spectral Fluorescence Lifetime Imager

Press Release

Press Release

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a versatile hyperspectral confocal fluorescence lifetime imager for microscopic studies of the spatial and temporal dynamics of key metabolites in plant systems.

Plant metabolism is a key biological process that involves intricate physiological processes to synthesize chemicals and create energy. A full understanding of the metabolic processes requires capable imaging technology to visualize the spatiotemporal dynamics and transport of key metabolites at the cellular level. Plant biologists face a challenge due to the current absence of a practical, non-invasive, high-resolution imaging tool. While invasive and destructive techniques such as cryo-electron microscopy and mass spectroscopy are commonly employed in laboratory settings to probe biochemical processes in plants and microbial communities, their adaptability for field-based research and industrial applications is limited. This significantly hinders investigations of metabolic processes to monitor plant development and health and their interaction with the microbial communities. 

During this R&D program PSI will develop a hyperspectral confocal fluorescence lifetime imager for non-destructive functional imaging of plant metabolism and microbial systems. The imager will be designed for field deployment and assessment of the physiological and biochemical responses of plants and microbes. The instrument will provide confocal, optically sectioned and spectral discriminated fluorescence lifetime images, providing important new information on the spatiotemporal distributions and dynamics of key metabolites and other functional biomolecules in cells.

For more information contact:

Dr. Youbo Zhao
Group Leader, Spectral Solutions
Physical Sciences Inc.
Office: (978) 689-0003

Acknowledgement of Sponsorship:  This work is supported by a contract with the Department of Energy. This support does not constitute an express or implied endorsement on the part of the Government.