skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


This content will become publicly available on June 14, 2024

Title: Recent advances in single-molecule tracking and imaging techniques

Since the early 1990s, single-molecule detection in solution at room temperature has enabled direct observation of single biomolecules at work in real time and under physiological conditions, providing insights into complex biological systems that the traditional ensemble methods cannot offer. In particular, recent advances in single-molecule tracking techniques allow researchers to follow individual biomolecules in their native environments for a timescale of seconds to minutes, revealing not only the distinct pathways these biomolecules take for downstream signaling but also their roles in supporting life. In this review, we discuss various single-molecule tracking and imaging techniques developed to date, with an emphasis on advanced three-dimensional (3D) tracking systems that not only achieve ultrahigh spatiotemporal resolution but also provide sufficient working depths suitable for tracking single molecules in 3D tissue models. We then summarize the observables that can be extracted from the trajectory data. Methods to perform single-molecule clustering analysis and future directions are also discussed.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
2029266 2235455
NSF-PAR ID:
10479473
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Annual Reviews
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry
Volume:
16
Issue:
1
ISSN:
1936-1327
Page Range / eLocation ID:
253 to 284
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has been largely implemented using methods which require tethering of molecules to a substrate in order to make high temporal resolution measurements. However, the act of tethering a molecule requires that the molecule be removed from its environment. This is especially perturbative when measuring biomolecules such as enzymes, which may rely on the non-equilibrium and crowded cellular environment for normal function. A method which may be able to un-tether single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy is real-time 3D single particle tracking (RT-3D-SPT). RT-3D-SPT uses active feedback to effectively lock-on to freely diffusing particles so they can be measured continuously with up to photon-limited temporal resolution over large axial ranges. This review gives an overview of the various active feedback 3D single particle tracking methods, highlighting specialized detection and excitation schemes which enable high-speed real-time tracking. Furthermore, the combination of these active feedback methods with simultaneous live-cell imaging is discussed. Finally, the successes in real-time 3D single molecule tracking (RT-3D-SMT) thus far and the roadmap going forward for this promising family of techniques are discussed. 
    more » « less
  2. Summary Lay Description

    Particles are widely used as probes in life sciences through their motions. In single molecule techniques such as optical tweezers and magnetic tweezers, microbeads are used to study intermolecular or intramolecular interactions via beads tracking. Also tracking multiple beads’ motions could study cell–cell or cell–ECM interactions in traction force microscopy. Therefore, particle tracking is of key important during these researches. However, parallel 3D multiple particle tracking in real‐time with high resolution is a challenge either due to the algorithm or the program. Here, we combine the performance of CPU and CUDA‐based GPU to make a hybrid implementation for particle tracking. In this way, a speedup of 137 is obtained compared the program before only with CPU without loss of accuracy. Moreover, we improve and build a new centrifugal force microscope for multiple single molecule force spectroscopy research in parallel. Then we employed our program into centrifugal force microscope for DNA stretching study. Our results not only demonstrate the application of this program in single molecule techniques, also indicate the capability of multiple single molecule study with centrifugal force microscopy.

     
    more » « less
  3. Recent advances in single‐molecule techniques have led to new discoveries in analytical chemistry, biophysics, and medicine. Understanding the structure and behavior of single biomolecules provides a wealth of information compared to studying large ensembles. However, developing single‐molecule techniques is challenging and requires advances in optics, engineering, biology, and chemistry. In this paper, we will review the state of the art in single‐molecule applications with a focus over the last few years of development. The advancements covered will mainly include light‐based in vitro methods, and we will discuss the fundamentals of each with a focus on the platforms themselves. We will also summarize their limitations and current and future applications to the wider biological and chemical fields.

    This article is categorized under:

    Laboratory Methods and Technologies > Imaging

    Laboratory Methods and Technologies > Macromolecular Interactions, Methods

    Analytical and Computational Methods > Analytical Methods

     
    more » « less
  4. Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication allows vehicles to wirelessly exchange information on the surrounding environment and enables cooperative perception. It helps prevent accidents, increase the safety of the passengers, and improve the traffic flow efficiency. However, these benefits can only come when the vehicles can communicate with each other in a fast and reliable manner. Therefore, we investigated two areas to improve the communication quality of V2V: First, using beamforming to increase the bandwidth of V2V communication by establishing accurate and stable collaborative beam connection between vehicles on the road; second, ensuring scalable transmission to decrease the amount of data to be transmitted, thus reduce the bandwidth requirements needed for collaborative perception of autonomous driving vehicles. Beamforming in V2V communication can be achieved by utilizing image-based and LIDAR’s 3D data-based vehicle detection and tracking. For vehicle detection and tracking simulation, we tested the Single Shot Multibox Detector deep learning-based object detection method that can achieve a mean Average Precision of 0.837 and the Kalman filter for tracking. For scalable transmission, we simulate the effect of varying pixel resolutions as well as different image compression techniques on the file size of data. Results show that without compression, the file size for only transmitting the bounding boxes containing detected object is up to 10 times less than the original file size. Similar results are also observed when the file is compressed by lossless and lossy compression to varying degrees. Based on these findings using existing databases, the impact of these compression methods and methods of effectively combining feature maps on the performance of object detection and tracking models will be further tested in the real-world autonomous driving system. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Mapping 3D plasma membrane topology in live cells can bring unprecedented insights into cell biology. Widefield-based super-resolution methods such as 3D-structured illumination microscopy (3D-SIM) can achieve twice the axial ( ~ 300 nm) and lateral ( ~ 100 nm) resolution of widefield microscopy in real time in live cells. However, twice-resolution enhancement cannot sufficiently visualize nanoscale fine structures of the plasma membrane. Axial interferometry methods including fluorescence light interference contrast microscopy and its derivatives (e.g., scanning angle interference microscopy) can determine nanoscale axial locations of proteins on and near the plasma membrane. Thus, by combining super-resolution lateral imaging of 2D-SIM with axial interferometry, we developed multi-angle-crossing structured illumination microscopy (MAxSIM) to generate multiple incident angles by fast, optoelectronic creation of diffraction patterns. Axial localization accuracy can be enhanced by placing cells on a bottom glass substrate, locating a custom height-controlled mirror (HCM) at a fixed axial position above the glass substrate, and optimizing the height reconstruction algorithm for noisy experimental data. The HCM also enables imaging of both the apical and basal surfaces of a cell. MAxSIM with HCM offers high-fidelity nanoscale 3D topological mapping of cell plasma membranes with near-real-time ( ~ 0.5 Hz) imaging of live cells and 3D single-molecule tracking.

     
    more » « less