Scientific reports

Cellular imaging using temporally flickering nanoparticles.

PMID 25650019


Utilizing the surface plasmon resonance effect in gold nanoparticles enables their use as contrast agents in a variety of applications for compound cellular imaging. However, most techniques suffer from poor signal to noise ratio (SNR) statistics due to high shot noise that is associated with low photon count in addition to high background noise. We demonstrate an effective way to improve the SNR, in particular when the inspected signal is indistinguishable in the given noisy environment. We excite the temporal flickering of the scattered light from gold nanoparticle that labels a biological sample. By preforming temporal spectral analysis of the received spatial image and by inspecting the proper spectral component corresponding to the modulation frequency, we separate the signal from the wide spread spectral noise (lock-in amplification).