Single molecule localization microscopy is currently revolutionizing the life sciences as it offers, for the first time, insights into the organization of biological samples below the classical diffraction limit of light microscopy. While there have been numerous examples of new biological findings reported in the last decade, the technique could not reach its full potential due to a set of limitations immanent to the samples themselves. Particularly, high background signals impede the proper performance of most single-molecule identification and localization algorithms. One option is to exploit the characteristic blinking of single molecule signals, which differs substantially from the residual brightness fluctuations of the fluorescence background. To pronounce single molecule signals, we used a temporal high-pass filtering in Fourier space on a pixel-by-pixel basis. We evaluated the performance of temporal filtering by assessing statistical parameters such as true positive rate and false discovery rate. For this, ground truth signals were generated by simulations and overlaid onto experimentally derived movies of samples with high background signals. Compared to the nonfiltered case, we found an improvement of the sensitivity by up to a factor 3.5 while no significant change in the localization accuracy was observable.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited