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Proceedings Paper

Classification of nanoparticle diffusion processes in vital cells by a multifeature random forests approach: application to simulated data, darkfield, and confocal laser scanning microscopy
Author(s): Thorsten Wagner; Alexandra Kroll; Martin Wiemann; Hans-Gerd Lipinski
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Paper Abstract

Darkfield and confocal laser scanning microscopy both allow for a simultaneous observation of live cells and single nanoparticles. Accordingly, a characterization of nanoparticle uptake and intracellular mobility appears possible within living cells. Single particle tracking makes it possible to characterize the particle and the surrounding cell. In case of free diffusion, the mean squared displacement for each trajectory of a nanoparticle can be measured which allows computing the corresponding diffusion coefficient and, if desired, converting it into the hydrodynamic diameter using the Stokes-Einstein equation and the viscosity of the fluid. However, within the more complex system of a cell’s cytoplasm unrestrained diffusion is scarce and several other types of movements may occur. Thus, confined or anomalous diffusion (e.g. diffusion in porous media), active transport, and combinations thereof were described by several authors. To distinguish between these types of particle movement we developed an appropriate classification method, and simulated three types of particle motion in a 2D plane using a Monte Carlo approach: (1) normal diffusion, using random direction and step-length, (2) subdiffusion, using confinements like a reflective boundary with defined radius or reflective objects in the closer vicinity, and (3) superdiffusion, using a directed flow added to the normal diffusion. To simulate subdiffusion we devised a new method based on tracks of different length combined with equally probable obstacle interaction. Next we estimated the fractal dimension, elongation and the ratio of long-time / short-time diffusion coefficients. These features were used to train a random forests classification algorithm. The accuracy for simulated trajectories with 180 steps was 97% (95%-CI: 0.9481-0.9884). The balanced accuracy was 94%, 99% and 98% for normal-, sub- and superdiffusion, respectively. Nanoparticle tracking analysis was used with 100 nm polystyrene particles to get trajectories for normal diffusion. As a next step we identified diffusion types of nanoparticles in vital cells and incubated V79 fibroblasts with 50 nm gold nanoparticles, which appeared as intensely bright objects due to their surface plasmon resonance. The movement of particles in both the extracellular and intracellular space was observed by dark field and confocal laser scanning microscopy. After reducing background noise from the video it became possible to identify individual particle spots by a maximum detection algorithm and trace them using the robust single-particle tracking algorithm proposed by Jaqaman, which is able to handle motion heterogeneity and particle disappearance. The particle trajectories inside cells indicated active transport (superdiffusion) as well as subdiffusion. Eventually, the random forest classification algorithm, after being trained by the above simulations, successfully classified the trajectories observed in live cells.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9887, Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care V, 988722 (27 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2227499
Show Author Affiliations
Thorsten Wagner, Fachhochschule Dortmund (Germany)
Alexandra Kroll, EAWAG (Switzerland)
Martin Wiemann, IBE GmbH (Germany)
Hans-Gerd Lipinski, Fachhochschule Dortmund (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9887:
Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care V
Jürgen Popp; Valery V. Tuchin; Dennis L. Matthews; Francesco Saverio Pavone, Editor(s)

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