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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36973. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036973. Epub 2012 May 22.

Inferring biological structures from super-resolution single molecule images using generative models.

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Lane Center for Computational Biology, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.


Localization-based super resolution imaging is presently limited by sampling requirements for dynamic measurements of biological structures. Generating an image requires serial acquisition of individual molecular positions at sufficient density to define a biological structure, increasing the acquisition time. Efficient analysis of biological structures from sparse localization data could substantially improve the dynamic imaging capabilities of these methods. Using a feature extraction technique called the Hough Transform simple biological structures are identified from both simulated and real localization data. We demonstrate that these generative models can efficiently infer biological structures in the data from far fewer localizations than are required for complete spatial sampling. Analysis at partial data densities revealed efficient recovery of clathrin vesicle size distributions and microtubule orientation angles with as little as 10% of the localization data. This approach significantly increases the temporal resolution for dynamic imaging and provides quantitatively useful biological information.

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