IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


May 12, 2005
7 PM

Verizon Laboratories

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Biological imaging with nonlinear microscopy

Prof. Jerome Mertz, Boston University, Boston, MA


Abstract:  Light microscopy has undergone a renaissance in recent years, largely propelled by its extension into femtosecond optics.  In 1990, Webb and Denk demonstrated the possibility of generating two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) to produce biological images with sub-micron resolution in thick tissue.  Since then, TPEF microscopy has gained widespread interest, particularly in neurobiology and developmental biology.  Alternatively, nonlinear optical contrast mechanisms may be based on scattering instead of absorption.  In particular, second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy, which actually predates TPEF microscopy, is gaining renewed attention as a unique tool for the visualization of cell membrane potential and dynamics.  Finally, we have developed a new microscopy technique called autoconfocal microscopy (ACM) wherein a nonlinear crystal is used to create “virtual pinhole” in the light detection path.

I will review the principles of these nonlinear microscopy techniques and describe some recent developments in my laboratory.  Most of these developments have been applied specifically to neuronal imaging in-vitro or in-vivo.


Biography:  Jerome Mertz is currently an associate professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department of Boston University, where he heads the Biomicroscopy laboratory.  He received a joint Ph.D. in quantum optics from the University of Paris VI and UC Santa Barbara in 1991, after which he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship to work on near-field microscopy at the Universität Konstanz in Germany.  In 1995 he started postdoctoral research on TPEF single molecule imaging at Cornell University.  In 1998 he was awarded a lecturer position at the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles in Paris, France, where he became research director at the Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie et Nouvelles Microscopies.  He moved to Boston in 2003.


Location:  Verizon Laboratories