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Fast, bias-free algorithm for tracking single particles with variable size and shape



Andrew J. Berglund, Matthew D. McMahon, Jabez J. McClelland, James A. Liddle


We introduce a fast and robust technique for single-particle tracking with nanometer accuracy.We extract the center-of-mass of the image of a single particle with a simple, iterative algorithm that efficiently suppresses background-induced bias in a simplistic centroid estimator. Unlike many commonly used algorithms, our position estimator requires no prior information about the shape or size of the tracked particle image and uses only simple arithmetic operations, making it appropriate for future hardware implementation and real-time feedback applications. We demonstrate it both numerically and experimentally, using an inexpensive CCD camera to localize 190 nm fluorescent microspheres to better than 5 nm.
Optics Express
Created August 26, 2008, Updated February 19, 2017