Tracking and Analyzing the Brownian Motion of Nano-objects Inside Hollow Core Fibers

Ronny Förster, Stefan Weidlich, Mona Nissen, Torsten Wieduwilt, Jens Kobelke, Aaron M. Goldfain, Timothy K. Chiang, Rees F. Garmann, Vinothan N. Manoharan, Yoav Lahini, Markus A. Schmidt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tracking and analyzing the individual diffusion of nanoscale objects such as proteins and viruses is an important methodology in life science. Here, we show a sensor that combines the efficiency of light line illumination with the advantages of fluidic confinement. Tracking of freely diffusing nano-objects inside water-filled hollow core fibers with core diameters of tens of micrometers using elastically scattered light from the core mode allows retrieving information about the Brownian motion and the size of each particle of the investigated ensemble individually using standard tracking algorithms and the mean squared displacement analysis. Specifically, we successfully measure the diameter of every gold nanosphere in an ensemble that consists of several hundreds of 40 nm particles, with an individual precision below 17% (±8 nm). In addition, we confirm the relevance of our approach with respect to bioanalytics by analyzing 70 nm λ-phages. Overall these features, together with the strongly reduced demand for memory space, principally allows us to record thousands of frames and to achieve high frame rates for high precision tracking of nanoscale objects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-886
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number3
StatePublished - 27 Mar 2020


  • biosensing
  • label-free
  • nanofluidics
  • self-diffusion
  • single particle tracking
  • virus detection


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