Functional studies in living animals using multiphoton microscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

28 Scopus citations


In vivo microscopy is a powerful method for studying fundamental issues of physiology and pathophysiology. The recent development of multiphoton fluorescence microscopy has extended the reach of in vivo microscopy, supporting high-resolution imaging deep into the tissues and organs of living animals. As compared with other in vivo imaging techniques, multiphoton microscopy is uniquely capable of providing a window into cellular and subcellular processes in the context of the intact, functioning animal. In addition, the ability to collect multiple colors of fluorescence from the same sample makes in vivo microscopy uniquely capable of characterizing up to three parameters from the same volume, supporting powerful correlative analyses. Since its invention in 1990, multiphoton microscopy has been increasingly applied to numerous areas of medical investigation, providing invaluable insights into cell physiology and pathology. However, researchers have only begun to realize the true potential of this powerful technology as it has proliferated beyond the laboratories of a relatively few pioneers. In this article we present an overview of the advantages and limitations of multiphoton microscopy as applied to in vivo imaging. We also review specific examples of the application of in vivo multiphoton microscopy to studies of physiology and pathology in a variety of organs including the brain, skin, skeletal muscle, tumors, immune cells, and visceral organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-77
Number of pages12
JournalILAR Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • In vivo imaging
  • In vivo microscopy
  • Multiphoton microscopy
  • Two-photon microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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