Limits of 3D dipole localization and orientation estimation for single-molecule imaging: towards Green's tensor engineering

Opt Express. 2012 Nov 19;20(24):26667-80. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.026667.


The 3D orientation and location of individual molecules is an important marker for the local environment and the state of a molecule. Therefore dipole localization and orientation estimation is important for biological sensing and imaging. Precise dipole localization is also critical for superresolution imaging. We propose and analyze wide field microscope configurations to simultaneously measure these parameters for multiple fixed dipole emitters. Examination of the images of radiating dipoles reveals how information transfer and precise detection can be improved. We use an information theoretic analysis to quantify the performance limits of position and orientation estimation through comparison of the Cramer-Rao lower bounds in a photon limited environment. We show that bi-focal and double-helix polarization-sensitive systems are attractive candidates for simultaneously estimating the 3D dipole location and orientation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Photons*