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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 26 — Dec. 22, 2008
  • pp: 22048–22057

Three dimensional tracking of fluorescent microparticles using a photon-limited double-helix response system

Sri Rama Prasanna Pavani and Rafael Piestun  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 26, pp. 22048-22057 (2008)

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We demonstrate three-dimensional tracking of fluorescent microparticles, with a computational optical system whose point spread function (PSF) has been engineered to have two twisting lobes along the optical axis, generating a three-dimensional (3D) double-helix (DH) PSF. An information theoretical comparison in photon limited systems shows that the DH-PSF delivers higher Fisher information for 3D localization than the standard PSF. Hence, DH-PSF systems provide better position estimation accuracy. Experiments demonstrate average position estimation accuracies under 14nm and 37nm in the transverse and axial dimensions respectively. The system determines the 3D position of multiple particles with a single image and tracks them over time while providing their velocities.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.4850) Imaging systems : Optical transfer functions
(110.6880) Imaging systems : Three-dimensional image acquisition
(150.5670) Machine vision : Range finding
(180.2520) Microscopy : Fluorescence microscopy
(110.1758) Imaging systems : Computational imaging

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: October 8, 2008
Revised Manuscript: December 16, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: December 17, 2008
Published: December 19, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 2 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Sri Rama Prasanna Pavani and Rafael Piestun, "Three dimensional tracking of fluorescent microparticles using a photon-limited double-helix response system," Opt. Express 16, 22048-22057 (2008)

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