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The principles of a powerful multicolor imaging system for tissue fluorescence diagnostics are discussed. Four individually spectrally filtered images are formed on a matrix detector by means of a split-mirror arrangement. The four images are processed in a computer, pixel by pixel, by means of mathematical operations, leading to an optimized contrast image, which enhances a selected feature. The system is being developed primarily for medical fluorescence imaging, but has wide applications in fluorescence, reflectance, and transmission monitoring related to a wide range of industrial and environmental problems. The system operation is described for the case of linear imaging on a diode array detector. Laser-induced fluorescence is used for cancer tumor and atherosclerotic plaque demarcation using the contrast enhancement capabilities of this imaging system. Further examples of applications include fluorescing minerals and flames.