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Anal Chem. 2014 Jan 7;86(1):608-14. doi: 10.1021/ac402830q. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Particle tracking and multispectral collocation method for particle-to-particle binding assays.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University , Stanford, California 94305, United States.


We present a simple-to-implement method for analyzing images of randomly distributed particles transported through a fluidic channel. We term this method particle imaging, tracking and collocation (PITC). Our method uses off-the-shelf optics including a CCD camera, epifluorescence microscope, and a dual-view color separator to image freely suspended particles in a wide variety of microchannels (with optical access for image collection). The particles can be transported via electrophoresis and/or pressure driven flow to increase throughput of analysis. We here describe the implementation of the algorithm and demonstrate and validate three of its capabilities: (1) identification of particle coordinates, (2) tracking of particle motion, and (3) monitoring of particle interaction via collocation analysis. We use Monte Carlo simulations for validation and optimization of the input parameters. We also present an experimental demonstration of the analysis on challenging image data, including a flow of two, interacting Brownian particle populations. In the latter example, we use PITC to detect the presence of target DNA by monitoring the hybridization-induced binding between the two populations of beads, each functionalized with DNA probes complementary to the target molecule.


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