Deconvolution of Camera Instrument Response Functions

Biophys J. 2017 Mar 28;112(6):1214-1220. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.02.014.


Temporal sequences of fluorescence intensities in single-molecule experiments are often obtained from stacks of camera images. The dwell times of different macromolecular structural or functional states, correlated with characteristic fluorescence intensities, are extracted from the images and combined into dwell time distributions that are fitted by kinetic functions to extract corresponding rate constants. The frame rate of the camera limits the time resolution of the experiment and thus the fastest rate processes that can be reliably detected and quantified. However, including the influence of discrete sampling (framing) on the detected time series in the fitted model enables rate processes near to the frame rate to be reliably estimated. This influence, similar to the instrument response function in other types of instruments, such as pulsed emission decay fluorometers, is easily incorporated into the fitted model. The same concept applies to any temporal data that is low-pass filtered or decimated to improve signal to noise ratio.

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer / instrumentation*
  • Kinetics
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Probability


  • Macromolecular Substances