Analytical biochemistry

A new method for resolution of two- and three-component mixtures of fluorophores by phase-sensitive detection of fluorescence.

PMID 4061815


We describe a new method for the analysis of phase-sensitive fluorescence emission spectra. This method permits the resolution of three-component mixtures using spectra measured at a single modulation frequency. Phase-sensitive spectra are recorded using one modulation frequency, at a number of arbitrary detector phase angles. It is not necessary to suppress any one component. The spectra are then used to estimate the component lifetimes and steady-state fractional intensities using a nonlinear least-squares analysis procedure. The only requirement for the analysis is the knowledge of the steady-state spectra of the individual components. This procedure allowed the resolution of a two-component mixture of 9-methylanthracene (4.5 ns) and 9,10-diphenylanthracene (5.9 ns). It should be noted that resolution of two lifetimes which differ by only 30% is a difficult task. Additionally, we resolved a three-component mixture with lifetimes that differed fourfold: p-bis[2-(5-phenyloxazolyl)]benzene (1.3 ns), 9-methylanthracene (4.5 ns), and 9,10-diphenylanthracene (5.9 ns). Conveniently, the technique utilizes a commercially available fixed-frequency phase fluorometer.