Fluorescence based analysis is a fundamental research technique used in the life sciences. However, conventional fluorescence intensity measurements are prone to misinterpretation due to illumination and fluorophore concentration non-uniformities. Thus, there is a growing interest in time-resolved fluorescence detection, whereby the characteristic fluorescence decay time-constant (or lifetime) in response to an impulse excitation source is measured. The sensitivity of a sample's lifetime properties to the micro-environment provides an extremely powerful analysis tool. However, current fluorescence lifetime analysis equipment tends to be bulky, delicate and expensive, thereby restricting its use to research laboratories.