Background suppression in frequency-domain fluorometry

Joseph R. Lakowicz, Ignacy Gryczynski, Zygmunt Gryczynski, Michael L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Gated detection is often used in time-domain measurements of long-lived fluorophores for suppression of interfering short-lived autofluorescence. However, no direct method has been available for gated detection and background suppression when using frequency-domain fluorometry. We describe a direct method for real-time suppression of autofluorescence in frequency- domain fluorometry. The method uses a gated detector and the sample is excited by a pulsed train. The detector is gated on following each excitation pulse after a suitable time delay for decay of the prompt autofluorescence. Under the same experimental conditions a detectable reference signal is obtained by using a long lifetime standard with a known decay time. Because the sample and reference signals are measured under identical excitation, gating and instrumental conditions, the data can be analyzed as usual for frequency-domain data without further processing. We show by simulations that this method can be used to resolve single and multiexponential decays in the presence of short lifetime autofluorescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-85
Number of pages12
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


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