PyNTA: Real-time Nanoparticle Tracking

Fast cameras generate more data than what can be stored. Through real-time analysis of the data it is possible to store only the relevant information, thus allowing longer and faster experiments..

Access to fast cameras became ubiquitous in many research labs throughout the world. However, there is always a bottleneck when it comes to acquisition: the amount of data generated is too large to be handled by the computer, and thus experiments are limited to short periods of time or to lower frame rates. A very common case is when performing nanoparticle tracking analysis, in which a movie needs to be recorded and then analyzed to extract the position of nanoparticles in each frame.

PyNTA is an open-source program, written in Python, that is able to localize nanoparticles in real time. This allows to save only the position of the particles instead of the entire frame, effectively reducing the amount of data stored by 1000-fold. This means that now researchers can perform faster experiments for longer periods of time. An initial evaluation of the software can be found on in case you wish to cite it in your work.