Mini-Tau Spectrometer

We make and supply spectrometers designed familiarise students with the principles of fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy and in particular time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC).

By monitoring the fluorescence lifetimes of emitting dyes, important information can be obtained on the molecular interactions and the micro-environment of these dyes. Proximity of quenchers, the presence of oxygen, pH level, temperature and viscosity can all influence the fluorescence lifetime. The effects of dynamic quenching and in particular the process of FRET are now widely studied in photochemistry and photobiology. A large variety of biochemical and cell-based assays are now readily available that utilise these dynamic quenching effects and which can be used with mini- τ teaching spectrometer.

The mini-τ can provide an insight into the techniques of fluorescence lifetimes and time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy. It allows you to introduce TCSPC, to your students, as a simple, fast and straight forward data acquisition technology. Our T900 advanced software has an easy-to-use graphical user interface that enables students to take measurements easily and watch their profiles build live on screen. The students are able to discover specifics about the micro-environment of their dyes through the use of the T900 analysis routines, which enable the students to extract the relevant information from their measurements and comprehensively manipulate their data.

The utilisation of fluorescence lifetime parameters in biological research and assay development is developing fast. This teaching spectrometer can aid your students to explore novel, highly sensitive and highly selective techniques that they are likely to encounter in their future careers.

The mini-τ (Mini-Tau) is an ultra-compact filter based fluorescence lifetime spectrometer. The system is supplied with a computer incorporating our TCC900 plug-in card for fast data acquisition and can recover fluorescence lifetimes between ~50ps and 50us. Utilising comprehensive data analysis software based on the established Marquardt-Levenberg algorithm, the mini-τ can accurately analyse complex decay kinetics with up to 4 lifetimes.

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