Ti:sapphire laser systems are the more extended excitation sources in multiphoton (MP) microscopy. Although tunable, the cost, size, and lack of portability often limit their use in some research fields. Femtosecond fiberbased lasers represent an attractive alternative since they are portable, compact, and affordable. Most MP applications using these devices employ wavelengths beyond 1000 nm. This work evaluates the performance of a mode-locked fiber based laser emitting at 780 nm (within the spectral region often used with Ti:sapphire devices) for use in MP imaging microscopy. MP images acquired with this laser system have been compared with those obtained with a “regular” solid-state source. Results herein show that the images recorded with both laser sources were similar, independently of the depth location of the imaged plane. The structural information contained in the images hardly differed. Moreover, the images of deeper layers improved by means of adaptive optics were also similar. These ultrafast laser sources are expected to enhance the impact of MP microscopy in basic research, as well as in biomedical environments.
© 2019 Optical Society of America