RNA Therapeutics Institute Publications


Diatrack particle tracking software: Review of applications and performance evaluation

UMMS Affiliation

RNA Therapeutics Institute; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


Document Type



Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Biology | Cell and Developmental Biology | Cells | Molecular Biology | Software Engineering


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.


biological imaging, cell tracking, dynamic imaging, live cell imaging, organelle tracking, particle tracking, single molecule, super-resolution, vesicle tracking

DOI of Published Version



Traffic. 2017 Dec;18(12):840-852. doi: 10.1111/tra.12530. Epub 2017 Oct 23. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID