Confidence intervals for concentration and brightness from fluorescence fluctuation measurements

Kenneth M. Pryse, Xi Rong, Jordan A. Whisler, William B. McConnaughey, Yan Fei Jiang, Artem V. Melnykov, Elliot L. Elson, Guy M. Genin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The theory of photon count histogram (PCH) analysis describes the distribution of fluorescence fluctuation amplitudes due to populations of fluorophores diffusing through a focused laser beam and provides a rigorous framework through which the brightnesses and concentrations of the fluorophores can be determined. In practice, however, the brightnesses and concentrations of only a few components can be identified. Brightnesses and concentrations are determined by a nonlinear least-squares fit of a theoretical model to the experimental PCH derived from a record of fluorescence intensity fluctuations. The χ2 hypersurface in the neighborhood of the optimum parameter set can have varying degrees of curvature, due to the intrinsic curvature of the model, the specific parameter values of the system under study, and the relative noise in the data. Because of this varying curvature, parameters estimated from the least-squares analysis have varying degrees of uncertainty associated with them. There are several methods for assigning confidence intervals to the parameters, but these methods have different efficacies for PCH data. Here, we evaluate several approaches to confidence interval estimation for PCH data, including asymptotic standard error, likelihood joint-confidence region, likelihood confidence intervals, skew-corrected and accelerated bootstrap (BCa), and Monte Carlo residual resampling methods. We study these with a model two-dimensional membrane system for simplicity, but the principles are applicable as well to fluorophores diffusing in three-dimensional solution. Using simulated fluorescence fluctuation data, we find the BCa method to be particularly well-suited for estimating confidence intervals in PCH analysis, and several other methods to be less so. Using the BCa method and additional simulated fluctuation data, we find that confidence intervals can be reduced dramatically for a specific non-Gaussian beam profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-906
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume103
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 2012

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