Label-free Multiscale Transport Imaging of the Living Cell

Szabolcs Osváth, Levente Herényi, Gergely Agócs, Katalin Kis-Petik, Miklós Kellermayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The living cell is characterized by a myriad of parallel intracellular transport processes. Simultaneously capturing their global features across multiple temporal and spatial scales is a nearly unsurmountable task. Here we present a method that enables the microscopic imaging of the entire spectrum of intracellular transport on a broad time scale without the need for prior labeling. We show that from the time-dependent fluctuation of pixel intensity, in either bright-field or phase-contrast microscopic images, a scaling factor can be derived that reflects the local Hurst coefficient (H), the value of which reveals the microscopic mechanisms of intracellular motion. The Hurst coefficient image of the interphase cell displays an unexpected, overwhelming superdiffusion (H > 0.5) in the cytoplasm and subdiffusion (H < 0.5) in the nucleus, and provides unprecedented sensitivity in detecting transport processes associated with the living state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-880
Number of pages7
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 4 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

Cite this