High throughput screening with multiphoton excitation

Joseph R. Lakowicz, Ignacy Gryczynski, Zygmunt Gryczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Fluorescence detection is extensively used in high throughput screening. In HTS there is a continuous migration toward higher density plates and smaller sample volumes. In the present report we describe the advantages of two-photon or multiphoton excitation for HTS. Multiphoton excitation (MPE) is the simultaneous absorption of two long-wavelength photons to excite the lowest singlet state of the fluorophore. MPE is typically accomplished with short but high-intensity laser pulses, which allows simultaneous absorption of two or more photons. The intensity of the multiphoton-induced fluorescence is proportional to the square, cube, or higher power of the instantaneous photon flux. Consequently, two-photon or multiphoton excitation only occurs at the focal point of the incident beam. This property of two-photon excitation allows the excited volume to be very small and to be localized in the center of each well in the HTS plate. We show that two-photon-induced fluorescence of fluorescein can be reliably measured in microwell plates. We also show the use of 6-carboxy fluorescein as a pH probe with two-photon excitation, and measure 4'-6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) binding and two- photon-induced fluorescence. In further studies we measure the time-dependent intensity decays of DAPI bound to DNA and calcium-dependent fluorophores. Finally, we demonstrate the possibility of three-photon excitation of several fluorophores, including indole, in the HTS plate. These results suggest that MPE can be used in high-density multiwell plates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Screening
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999


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