American Chemical Society
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Nanoscale Resolution 3D Snapshot Particle Tracking by Multifocal Microscopy

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posted on 2019-09-17, 14:50 authored by Xiaolei Wang, Hannah Yi, Itay Gdor, Mark Hereld, Norbert F. Scherer
Accurate, precise, and rapid particle tracking in three dimensions remains a challenge; yet, its achievement will significantly enhance our understanding of living systems. We developed a multifocal microscopy (MFM) that allows snapshot acquisition of the imaging data, and an associated image processing approach, that together allow simultaneous 3D tracking of many fluorescent particles with nanoscale resolution. The 3D tracking was validated by measuring a known trajectory of a fluorescent bead with an axial accuracy of 19 nm through an image depth (axial range) of 3 μm and 4 nm precision of axial localization through an image depth of 4 μm. A second test obtained a uniform axial probability distribution and Brownian dynamics of beads diffusing in solution. We also validated the MFM approach by imaging fluorescent beads immobilized in gels and comparing the 3D localizations to their “ground truth” positions obtained from a confocal microscopy z-stack of finely spaced images. Finally, we applied our MFM and image processing approach to obtain 3D trajectories of insulin granules in pseudoislets of MIN6 cells to demonstrate its compatibility with complex biological systems. Our study demonstrates that multifocal microscopy allows rapid (video rate) and simultaneous 3D tracking of many “particles” with nanoscale accuracy and precision in a wide range of systems, including over spatial scales relevant to whole live cells.