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Tracking of Fluorescent Particles

Investigators: Daniel Sage


Tracking single molecules has many applications in the fields of biophysics and cell biology. Among the most promising is the observation of intracellular molecular dynamics.

Main Contributions

We have developed a robust algorithm for tracking a single fluorescent particle in dynamic image sequences obtained by brightfield or confocal microscopy. Specifically, we have considered the problem of extracting the movement of a fluorescently labeled chromosomal telomere within the nucleus of a budding yeast cell. Our method has three components

  1. an alignment module that compensates for the movement of the biological structure under investigation;
  2. an enhancement of particle-like structures by Mexican-hat filtering;
  3. a tracking module that uses dynamic programming to extract the optimal trajectory of the particle.
The experimental results obtained are quite promising.

Collaborations: Prof. Michael Unser, Prof. Susan Gasser (Molecular Biology Dept., UniGE)

Past Investigators: François Aguet

Period: 2002-ongoing

Funding: Grant application pending

Major Publication


D. Sage, F.R. Neumann, F. Hediger, S.M. Gasser, M. Unser, "Automatic Tracking of Individual Fluorescence Particles: Application to the Study of Chromosome Dynamics," IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 14, no. 9, pp. 1372-1383, September 2005.


D. Sage, F. Hediger, S.M. Gasser, M. Unser, "Automatic Tracking of Particles in Dynamic Fluorescence Microscopy," Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Image and Signal Processing and Analysis (ISPA'03), Rome, Italy, September 18-20, 2003, pp. I.582-I.586.

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© 2013 EPFL • • 16.12.2013