Single Particle Tracking

Track single molecules, vesicles, virions or other particles

Single-particle tracking (SPT) is a powerful microscopy technique that enables you to follow the movement of individual fluorescently-labeled particles (molecules, vesicles, virions or other molecular complexes) within a medium or in living cells. This provides detailed insights into their dynamics.

You can use Single-particle tracking to gain new insights into the molecular dynamics of a wide range of biological processes:

  • movement of proteins or DNA in the cytoplasm and nucleus
  • movement of intracellular or extracellular vesicles or viral particles
  • movement of lipids and proteins within membranes or across cellular compartments
  • uptake of external factors during gene or drug delivery
  • reveal structure-function relationships underlying complex systems
  • generate 2D or 3D localization maps of such systems

Single-particle tracking using the Nanoimager

The Nanoimager microscope offers the speed and sensitivity to achieve a time-resolution of milliseconds required for single-particle tracking.

The Nanoimager can be heated to 37℃ for live-cell imaging and has four different laser lines. This means you can image two fluorophores simultaneously on a single sample and allows tracks registered in one channel to be assigned to cellular markers in the second channel.

HUVEC cell with the nucleus labelled green and EVs labelled magenta. Samples provided by Ms. M. Panagopoulou & Dr. M. Paterson, lab of Prof. Christopher Gregory, Univ. of Edinburgh.

HALO-labeled FtsK protein bound to TMR ligand, single-particle tracking in Mycobacterium smegmatis cells, samples provided by Zakrzewska-Czerwinska lab, Wroclaw University,

Atlastin1 protein (orange) 'walking' along the ER (blue) in fibroblasts, provided by Dr. Christopher Obara, postdoc in Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz lab, Janelia Farm