Wavelet analysis for single molecule localization microscopy

Opt Express. 2012 Jan 30;20(3):2081-95. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.002081.


Localization of single molecules in microscopy images is a key step in quantitative single particle data analysis. Among them, single molecule based super-resolution optical microscopy techniques require high localization accuracy as well as computation of large data sets in the order of 10(5) single molecule detections to reconstruct a single image. We hereby present an algorithm based on image wavelet segmentation and single particle centroid determination, and compare its performance with the commonly used gaussian fitting of the point spread function. We performed realistic simulations at different signal-to-noise ratios and particle densities and show that the calculation time using the wavelet approach can be more than one order of magnitude faster than that of gaussian fitting without a significant degradation of the localization accuracy, from 1 nm to 4 nm in our range of study. We propose a simulation-based estimate of the resolution of an experimental single molecule acquisition.

MeSH terms

  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Nanoparticles / ultrastructure*
  • Wavelet Analysis*