Over the past decade, two-photon microscopy has successfully made the transition from the laser laboratory into a true biological research setting. This has been due in part to the recent development of turnkey ultrafast laser systems required for two-photon microscopy, allowing ease of use in nonspecialist laboratories. The advantages of two-photon microscopy over conventional optical sectioning techniques are for greater imaging depths and reduced overall phototoxicity, as such enabling noninvasive intra-vital imaging of cellular and subcellular processes. Greater understanding of these advantages has allowed this technique to be more effectively utilized in a biological research setting. This review will cover the recent widespread uses of two-photon microscopy and highlight the wide range of physiological studies enabled in fields such as neurosciences, developmental biology, immunology, cancer biology, and endocrinology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReviews of Physiology Biochemistry and Pharmacology
EditorsSimon Rallison
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameReviews of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology
ISSN (Print)0303-4240


  • Ablation
  • Fluorescence
  • Intra-vital imaging
  • Intrinsic fluorophores
  • Optical sectioning
  • Photoactivation
  • Second harmonic generation
  • Two-photon microscopy


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