Research Topic

Modern Tools for Time-Resolved Luminescence Biosensing and Imaging

About this Research Topic

Decay lifetime is a key characteristic of luminescence emission, the timescale of which can span orders of magnitude from sub-nanoseconds and nanoseconds for fluorophores to minutes or even hours for persistent luminescence probes. This allows sensitive measurements performed in the time domain (and in its reciprocal frequency domain) to identify and differentiate molecules of interest and study their dynamic interactions with the environment. A large suite of tools has been developed over the past few decades, comprising of both analytical probes such as transition metal and lanthanide complexes, inorganic and organic nanoparticles etc., and analytical instruments ranging from fluorometers and plate readers to microscopic and macroscopic imaging systems as well as cytometers. These tools have found extensive applications in biological and biomedical sciences, including sensitive and multiplexed assays, probing of molecular interactions in vitro and in vivo, early diagnosis of diseases, and image-guided surgery.

This Research Topic aims to highlight modern tools, including both probes and instrumentation, of time-resolved luminescence detection and their applications. This Research Topic will provide a timely update of this continuously evolving field in order to encourage further development and implementation of these tools towards new discoveries. The Topic Editors also hope that this Research Topic can serve as an introduction to this highly multidisciplinary field, which has involved many streams of research stemming from different disciplines over centuries that do not necessarily have a fully-agreed nomenclature, to facilitate communication with reduced ambiguity among researchers from different backgrounds to explore opportunities and tackle challenges collaboratively.

The Topic Editors welcome contributions addressing any relevant aspects to promote further research, development and translation of these modern tools. Original research, protocols, reviews, perspectives and tutorials on, but not limited to, the following themes are all encouraged:
- fundamentals, concepts, principles and methodologies of time-resolved luminescence detection;
- design, fabrication, engineering and characterization of time-resolved molecular probes, responsive agents, nanomaterials, and assays;
- time-resolved sensing and imaging instrumentation for devices and systems from microscopy/nanoscopy to macroscopy;
- computational algorithms and implementation for time-resolved detection and multiplexing;
- applications across life sciences ranging from molecular analysis to biomedical/clinical practice.

Note that the term “luminescence” here refers not only to photoluminescence, but may also involve other types, such as chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, cathodoluminescence, radioluminescence, thermoluminescence and mechanoluminescence.

To be relevant for Frontiers in Chemistry (Analytical Chemistry), the reported methods and technologies must be sufficiently innovative and robust compared to other available methods, in line with the section scope.


Keywords: time-resolved detection, luminescence lifetime, biosensing, biomedical imaging, biophotonics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Decay lifetime is a key characteristic of luminescence emission, the timescale of which can span orders of magnitude from sub-nanoseconds and nanoseconds for fluorophores to minutes or even hours for persistent luminescence probes. This allows sensitive measurements performed in the time domain (and in its reciprocal frequency domain) to identify and differentiate molecules of interest and study their dynamic interactions with the environment. A large suite of tools has been developed over the past few decades, comprising of both analytical probes such as transition metal and lanthanide complexes, inorganic and organic nanoparticles etc., and analytical instruments ranging from fluorometers and plate readers to microscopic and macroscopic imaging systems as well as cytometers. These tools have found extensive applications in biological and biomedical sciences, including sensitive and multiplexed assays, probing of molecular interactions in vitro and in vivo, early diagnosis of diseases, and image-guided surgery.

This Research Topic aims to highlight modern tools, including both probes and instrumentation, of time-resolved luminescence detection and their applications. This Research Topic will provide a timely update of this continuously evolving field in order to encourage further development and implementation of these tools towards new discoveries. The Topic Editors also hope that this Research Topic can serve as an introduction to this highly multidisciplinary field, which has involved many streams of research stemming from different disciplines over centuries that do not necessarily have a fully-agreed nomenclature, to facilitate communication with reduced ambiguity among researchers from different backgrounds to explore opportunities and tackle challenges collaboratively.

The Topic Editors welcome contributions addressing any relevant aspects to promote further research, development and translation of these modern tools. Original research, protocols, reviews, perspectives and tutorials on, but not limited to, the following themes are all encouraged:
- fundamentals, concepts, principles and methodologies of time-resolved luminescence detection;
- design, fabrication, engineering and characterization of time-resolved molecular probes, responsive agents, nanomaterials, and assays;
- time-resolved sensing and imaging instrumentation for devices and systems from microscopy/nanoscopy to macroscopy;
- computational algorithms and implementation for time-resolved detection and multiplexing;
- applications across life sciences ranging from molecular analysis to biomedical/clinical practice.

Note that the term “luminescence” here refers not only to photoluminescence, but may also involve other types, such as chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, cathodoluminescence, radioluminescence, thermoluminescence and mechanoluminescence.

To be relevant for Frontiers in Chemistry (Analytical Chemistry), the reported methods and technologies must be sufficiently innovative and robust compared to other available methods, in line with the section scope.


Keywords: time-resolved detection, luminescence lifetime, biosensing, biomedical imaging, biophotonics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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