Abstract: Deep tissue multiphoton imaging requires high peak power to enhance signal and low average power to prevent thermal damage. Both goals can be advantageously achieved through laser repetition rate tuning instead of simply adjusting the average power. We show that the ideal repetition rate for deep two-photon imaging in the mouse brain is between 1 and 10 MHz, and we present a fiber-based source with an arbitrarily tunable repetition rate within this range. The performance of the new source is compared to a mode-locked Ti:Sapphire (Ti:S) laser for in vivo imaging of mouse brain vasculature. At 2.5 MHz, the fiber source requires 5.1 times less average power to obtain the same signal as a standard Ti:S laser operating at 80 MHz.

Authors: Kriti Charan, Bo Li, Mengran Wang, Charles P. Lin, and Chris Xu