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J Phys Chem B. 2006 Oct 12;110(40):19763-70.

Quantitative characterization of changes in dynamical behavior for single-particle tracking studies.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley, Physical Biosciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Single-particle tracking experiments have been used widely to study the heterogeneity of a sample. Segments with dissimilar diffusive behaviors are associated with different intermediate states, usually by visual inspection of the tracking trace. A likelihood-based, systematic approach is presented to remove this incertitude. Maximum likelihood estimators are derived for the determination of diffusion coefficients. A likelihood ratio test is applied to the localization of the changes in them. Simulations suggest that the proposed procedure is statistically robust and is able to quantitatively recover time-dependent changes in diffusion coefficients even in the presence of large measurement noise.

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