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Quantitative analysis of single particle tracking experiments: applying ecological methods in cellular biology Open Access


Other title
variance first-passage time
mean square displacement
correlated random walk
single particle tracking
random walk
diffusion coefficient
leukocyte function associated antigen - 1
adhesion receptor
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Rajani, Vishaal
Supervisor and department
de Vries, Gerda (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Hillen, Thomas (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)
Carrero, Gustavo (Centre for Science, Athabasca University)
Cairo, Christopher W. (Chemistry)
Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Single-particle tracking (SPT) is a method used to study the diffusion of various molecules within the cell. SPT involves tagging proteins with optical labels and observing their individual two-dimensional trajectories with a microscope. The analysis of this data provides important information about protein movement and mechanism, and is used to create multistate biological models. One of the challenges in SPT analysis is the variety of complex environments that contribute to heterogeneity within movement paths. In this thesis, we explore the limitations of current methods used to analyze molecular movement, and adapt analytical methods used in animal movement analysis, such as correlated random walks and first-passage time variance, to SPT data of leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) integral membrane proteins. We discuss the consequences of these methods in understanding different types of heterogeneity in protein movement behaviour, and provide support to results from current experimental work.
License granted by Vishaal Rajani ( on 2010-08-26T17:40:47Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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