Fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy of glioblastoma multiforme

Laura Marcu, Javier A. Jo, Pramod V. Butte, William H. Yong, Brian K. Pikul, Keith L. Black, Reid C. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Fluorescence spectroscopy of the endogenous emission of brain tumors has been researched as a potentially important method for the intraoperative localization of brain tumor margins. We investigated the use of time-resolved, laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy for demarcation of primary brain tumors by studying the time-resolved spectra of gliomas. The fluorescence of human brain samples (glioblastoma multiforme, cortex and white matter: six patients, 23 sites) was induced ex vivo with a pulsed nitrogen laser (337 nm, 3 ns). The time-resolved spectra were detected in a 360-550 nm wavelength range using a fast digitizer and gated detection. Parameters derived from both the spectral- (intensities from narrow spectral bands) and the time domain (average lifetime) measured at 390 and 460 nm were used for tissue characterization. We determined that high-grade gliomas are characterized by fluorescence lifetimes that varied with the emission wavelength (>3 ns at 390 nm, <1 ns at 460 nm) and their emission is overall longer than that of normal brain tissue. Our study demonstrates that the use of fluorescence lifetime not only improves the specificity of fluorescence measurements but also allows a more robust evaluation of data collected from brain tissue. Combined information from both the spectral- and the time domain can enhance the ability of fluorescence-based techniques to diagnose and detect brain tumor margins intraoperatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics


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