In recent years, fluorescence microscopy based on two-photon excitation has become a popular tool for biological and biomedical imaging. Among its advantages is the enhanced depth penetration permitted by fluorescence excitation with the near-infrared photons, which is particularly attractive for deep-tissue imaging. To fully utilize two-photon fluorescence microscopy as a three-dimensional research technique in biology and medicine, it is important to characterize the two-photon imaging parameters in a turbid medium. We investigated the two-photon point spread functions (PSFs) in a number of scattering samples. Gel samples containing 0.1-μm fluorescent microspheres and Liposyn III were used as phantoms mimicking the turbid environment often found in tissue. A full characterization of the two-photon PSFs of a water and oil immersion objective was completed in samples composed of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2% Liposyn III. Our results show that up to depths of about 100 (oil) and 200 μm (water), the presence of scatterers (up to 2% Liposyn III) does not appreciably degrade the PSF widths of the objectives. © 2003 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.