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Lasers Used in Cytometry

Photonics.com
Sep 2007
SOUTHAMPTON, England, Sept. 26, 2007 -- A white light source based on an ultrafast high-power fiber laser integrated with photonic crystal fiber was used in the first application of optical supercontinuum lasers in flow cytometry.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the US National Institutes of Health conducted the experiments and reported the results in a recent issue of the journal Nature.

Ultrafast fiber laser maker Fianium, based in Southampton, England, is the manufacturer of the SC450 laser used in the experiment.

"Even the most modern cytometers typically provide for not more than four laser wavelengths," said William Telford, a research scientist at NCI. "This is largely due to limited selection of wavelengths available with existing laser technology. Supercontinuum white light lasers provide wavelengths that are difficult to produce using traditional technologies, allowing virtually any fluorophore to be analyzed by flow cytometry."

Anatoly Grudinin, general manager of Fianium, based in Southampton, England, said, "The SC450 laser used for flow-cytometery experiments at NCI generated 4 W of power distributed across the 450 to 2500 nm range, offering sufficient spectral power density to compete with single-wavelength lasers" and that the company's latest models of supercontinuum lasers offer powers up to 8 W, covering a spectral range of 390 to 2600 nm. The lasers are being used in micromachining, instrumentation, machine vision, defense and security (THz imaging) and biomedical research, among other applications.

For more information, visit www.fianium.com



GLOSSARY
flow cytometry
A method of measuring the characteristics of microscopic particles, usually cells, as they flow in a fluid stream through a beam of light. Particles may be stained with fluorescent dye and the fluorescence detected via laser illumination.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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