Bayesian Inference Frameworks for Fluorescence Microscopy Data Analysis
In this work, I present a Bayesian inference computational framework for the analysis of widefield microscopy data that addresses three challenges: (1) counting and localizing stationary fluorescent molecules; (2) inferring a spatially-dependent effective fluorescence profile that describes the spatially-varying rate at which fluorescent molecules emit subsequently-detected photons (due to different illumination intensities or different local environments); and (3) inferring the camera gain. My general theoretical framework utilizes the Bayesian nonparametric Gaussian and beta-Bernoulli processes with a Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling scheme, which I further specify and implement for Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy data, benchmarking the method on synthetic data. These three frameworks are self-contained, and can be used concurrently so that the fluorescence profile and emitter locations are both considered unknown and, under some conditions, learned simultaneously. The framework I present is flexible and may be adapted to accommodate the inference of other parameters, such as emission photophysical kinetics and the trajectories of moving molecules. My TIRF-specific implementation may find use in the study of structures on cell membranes, or in studying local sample properties that affect fluorescent molecule photon emission rates.