Research & Teaching Faculty

Human-vision-inspired cluster identification for single-molecule localization microscopy

TitleHuman-vision-inspired cluster identification for single-molecule localization microscopy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsChen, L, Liu, Q, Chou, KC
JournalOpt. Express
Date PublishedJan
KeywordsCLOUDS, Edge detection, Fourier transforms, microscopy, Modulation transfer function, Point spread function

Single-molecule localization microscopy has enabled scientists to visualize cellular structures at the nanometer scale. However, researchers are facing great challenges in analyzing images presented by point clouds. Existing algorithms for cluster identification are coordinate-based analyses requiring users to input cutoff thresholds based on the distance or density of the point cloud. These thresholds are often one's best guess with repeated visual inspections, making the cluster assignment user-dependent. Here, we present a cluster identification algorithm mimicking the modulation transfer function of human vision. This approach does not require any input parameters and produces visually satisfactory cluster assignments. We tested this algorithm by identifying the clusters of the fusion proteins of the Nipah virus on its host cells. This algorithm was further extended to analyze three-dimensional point clouds using virus-like particles as an example.