We present a statistical approach to particle tracking velocimetry developed to treat the issues associated with nanometer-sized tracer particles such as fluorescent molecules and quantum dots (QDs) along with theory and experimental results. Extremely small tracers pose problems to traditional tracking methods due to high levels of thermal motion, high levels of intensified camera noise, high drop-in/drop-out rates and, in the case of QDs, fluorescence intermittency (“blinking”). The algorithm presented here compensates for these problems in a statistical manner and determines the physical velocity distributions from measured particle displacement distributions by statistically removing randomly distributed, non-physical tracking events. The algorithm is verified with both numerically simulated particle trackings and experiments using 54 nm diameter fluorescent dextran molecules and 6 and 16 nm diameter QDs.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 13, 2006
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