Improved localization accuracy in stochastic super-resolution fluorescence microscopy by K-factor image deshadowing

Tali Ilovitsh, Amihai Meiri, Carl G. Ebeling, Rajesh Menon, Jordan M. Gerton, Erik M. Jorgensen, Zeev Zalevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Localization of a single fluorescent particle with sub-diffraction-limit accuracy is a key merit in localization microscopy. Existing methods such as photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) achieve localization accuracies of single emitters that can reach an order of magnitude lower than the conventional resolving capabilities of optical microscopy. However, these techniques require a sparse distribution of simultaneously activated fluorophores in the field of view, resulting in larger time needed for the construction of the full image. In this paper we present the use of a nonlinear image decomposition algorithm termed K-factor, which reduces an image into a nonlinear set of contrast-ordered decompositions whose joint product reassembles the original image. The K-factor technique, when implemented on raw data prior to localization, can improve the localization accuracy of standard existing methods, and also enable the localization of overlapping particles, allowing the use of increased fluorophore activation density, and thereby increased data collection speed. Numerical simulations of fluorescence data with random probe positions, and especially at high densities of activated fluorophores, demonstrate an improvement of up to 85% in the localization precision compared to single fitting techniques. Implementing the proposed concept on experimental data of cellular structures yielded a 37% improvement in resolution for the same super-resolution image acquisition time, and a decrease of 42% in the collection time of super-resolution data with the same resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-258
Number of pages15
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number1
StatePublished - 16 Dec 2013


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