The emission spectra of single lipofuscin granules are examined using spectrally resolved confocal microscopy and near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). The emission spectrum varies among the granules examined revealing that individual granules are characterized by different distributions of fluorophores. The range of spectra observed is consistent with in vivo spectra of human retinal pigment epithelium cells. NSOM measurements reveal that the shape of the spectrum does not vary with position within the emissive regions of single lipofuscin granules. These results suggest that the relative distribution of fluorophores within the emissive regions of an individual granule is homogeneous on the spatial scale ∼150 nm.
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Vol. 74 • No. 2