Object tracking is an instrumental tool supporting studies of cellular trafficking. There are three challenges in object tracking: the identification of targets; the precise determination of their position and boundaries; and the assembly of correct trajectories. This last challenge is particularly relevant when dealing with densely populated images with low signal-to-noise ratios-conditions that are often encountered in applications such as organelle tracking, virus particle tracking or single-molecule imaging. We have developed a set of methods that can handle a wide variety of signal complexities. They are compiled into a free software package called Diatrack. Here we review its main features and utility in a range of applications, providing a survey of the dynamic imaging field together with recommendations for effective use. The performance of our framework is shown to compare favorably to a wide selection of custom-developed algorithms, whether in terms of localization precision, processing speed or correctness of tracks.
Available for download on Tuesday, October 23, 2018