Guidelines for the fitting of anomalous diffusion mean square displacement graphs from single particle tracking experiments

Eldad Kepten, Aleksander Weron, Grzegorz Sikora, Krzysztof Burnecki, Yuval Garini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

Single particle tracking is an essential tool in the study of complex systems and biophysics and it is commonly analyzed by the time-averaged mean square displacement (MSD) of the diffusive trajectories. However, past work has shown that MSDs are susceptible to significant errors and biases, preventing the comparison and assessment of experimental studies. Here, we attempt to extract practical guidelines for the estimation of anomalous time averaged MSDs through the simulation of multiple scenarios with fractional Brownian motion as a representative of a large class of fractional ergodic processes. We extract the precision and accuracy of the fitted MSD for various anomalous exponents and measurement errors with respect to measurement length and maximum time lags. Based on the calculated precision maps, we present guidelines to improve accuracy in single particle studies. Importantly, we find that in some experimental conditions, the time averaged MSD should not be used as an estimator.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0117722
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Kepten et al.

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