Single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) are used in a wide range of applications, from fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to time-of-flight (ToF) 3D imaging. SPAD arrays are becoming increasingly established, combining the unique properties of SPADs with widefield camera configurations. Traditionally, the photosensitive area (fill factor) of SPAD arrays has been limited by the in-pixel digital electronics. However, recent designs have demonstrated that by replacing the complex digital pixel logic with simple binary pixels and external frame summation, the fill factor can be increased considerably. A significant advantage of such binary SPAD arrays is the high frame rates offered by the sensors (>100kFPS), which opens up new possibilities for capturing ultra-fast temporal dynamics in, for example, life science cellular imaging. In this work we consider the use of novel binary SPAD arrays in high-speed particle tracking in microscopy. We demonstrate the tracking of fluorescent microspheres undergoing Brownian motion, and in intra-cellular vesicle dynamics, at high frame rates. We thereby show how binary SPAD arrays can offer an important advance in live cell imaging in such fields as intercellular communication, cell trafficking and cell signaling.
Istvan Gyongy, Amy Davies, Allende Miguelez Crespo, Andrew Green, Neale A. W. Dutton, Rory R. Duncan, Colin Rickman, Robert K. Henderson, and Paul A. Dalgarno, "High-speed particle tracking in microscopy using SPAD image sensors," Proc. SPIE 10505, High-Speed Biomedical Imaging and Spectroscopy III: Toward Big Data Instrumentation and Management, 105050A (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2018; Published: 20 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290199.
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