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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 810749, 8 pages
Review Article

Multiphoton Laser Microscopy and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging for the Evaluation of the Skin

1Department of Dermatology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41124 Modena, Italy
2Department of Physics, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
3Department of Biophotonics and Lasertechnology, Saarland University, Campus A5.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
4JenLab GmbH, Schillerstraße 1, 0745 Jena, Germany

Received 21 July 2011; Accepted 30 August 2011

Academic Editor: Caterina Longo

Copyright © 2012 Stefania Seidenari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Multiphoton laser microscopy is a new, non-invasive technique providing access to the skin at a cellular and subcellular level, which is based both on autofluorescence and fluorescence lifetime imaging. Whereas the former considers fluorescence intensity emitted by epidermal and dermal fluorophores and by the extra-cellular matrix, fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), is generated by the fluorescence decay rate. This innovative technique can be applied to the study of living skin, cell cultures and ex vivo samples. Although still limited to the clinical research field, the development of multiphoton laser microscopy is thought to become suitable for a practical application in the next few years: in this paper, we performed an accurate review of the studies published so far, considering the possible fields of application of this imaging method and providing high quality images acquired in the Department of Dermatology of the University of Modena.