Classification of T-cell activation via autofluorescence lifetime imaging. Academic Article uri icon


  • The function of a T cell depends on its subtype and activation state. Here, we show that imaging of the autofluorescence lifetime signals of quiescent and activated T cells can be used to classify the cells. T cells isolated from human peripheral blood and activated in culture using tetrameric antibodies against the surface ligands CD2, CD3 and CD28 showed specific activation-state-dependent patterns of autofluorescence lifetime. Logistic regression models and random forest models classified T cells according to activation state with 97-99% accuracy, and according to activation state (quiescent or activated) and subtype (CD3+CD8+ or CD3+CD4+) with 97% accuracy. Autofluorescence lifetime imaging can be used to non-destructively determine T-cell function.

published proceedings

  • Nat Biomed Eng

altmetric score

  • 143.03

author list (cited authors)

  • Walsh, A. J., Mueller, K. P., Tweed, K., Jones, I., Walsh, C. M., Piscopo, N. J., ... Skala, M. C.

citation count

  • 58

complete list of authors

  • Walsh, Alex J||Mueller, Katherine P||Tweed, Kelsey||Jones, Isabel||Walsh, Christine M||Piscopo, Nicole J||Niemi, Natalie M||Pagliarini, David J||Saha, Krishanu||Skala, Melissa C

publication date

  • January 2021