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Summary form only given. Fluorescence lifetime measurements permit both detection of specific fluorophores and monitoring of their local environment for biomedical imaging and other applications. Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) is particularly exciting since it can provide non-invasive functional/diagnostic imaging by exploiting the sensitivity of fluorescence lifetime to the local environment (e.g. oxygen, [Ca/sup 2+/], pH etc.). The recent development of user-friendly and relatively portable ultrafast laser technology and the availability of ultrafast gated optical image intensifiers (GOIs) mean that this technology can be readily applied to almost any optical imaging modality including microscopy and endoscopy. We report a FLIM system, based on a GOI and an all-solid-state diode pumped Cr:LiSGAF oscillator-amplifier system.