Applied Physics B

, Volume 80, Issue 7, pp 809-816

First online:

Tracking a single fluorescent molecule with a confocal microscope

  • S. B. AnderssonAffiliated withDivision of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University Email author 

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We consider the problem of tracking a single fluorescent molecule in both two and three dimensions using a confocal laser scanning microscope. An estimate of the position of the molecule is generated from the measured fluorescence signal through the use of parameter estimation theory. This estimate is used in a nonlinear controller designed both to track the position of the molecule and to provide good measurements for use in the estimation algorithm. The performance of the approach is investigated through numerical simulation for molecules undergoing diffusion and directed transport and the capabilities of the controller relative to experimental limitations are discussed.


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