Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy is a promising tool for live cell imaging and has been applied to the study of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis and hepatitis [1]. Using photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) can simplify the laser apparatus required compared to traditional techniques [2]. Combining PCFs with optimally chirped fs pulses, high performance multimodal (i.e. simultaneous two-photon fluorescence (TPF), second harmonic generation (SHG) and CARS) imaging of live cells and tissues is possible using only a single laser [3]. Such a system, however, still requires a stable lab environment and a Ti:Sapphire laser. Here we demonstrate a fully operational multimodal live cell and tissue imaging system based on a compact fs Er fiber oscillator system. A key component is a newly developed ultra-highly nonlinear silica fiber (UHNLF) [4] which greatly reduces the peak power requirement for Stokes pulse generation, enabling CARS imaging of live cells.

© 2009 IEEE

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