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Microorganism Tracking System


Continuous observation of individual motile microorganisms is difficult, since their swimming speed is fast compared with their diameters. Microorganisms can quickly go out of the range of static measurement instruments, such as the field of view of optical microscopes.

To solve this problem, a microorganism tracking system using a high-speed vision system has been developed. This system tracks a freely swimming microorganism within the field of an optical microscope by moving a chamber of target microorganisms based on high-speed visual feedback.

Photographs of a paramecium, and its trajectory obtained by the tracking system.



  1. Hiromasa Oku, Naoko Ogawa, Koichi Hashimoto, and Masatoshi Ishikawa: Two-dimensional tracking of a motile microorganism allowing high-resolution observation with various imaging techniques, Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 76, no. 3, 034301, 2005. [PDF (1.0M)] [Video (WMV, 2.2M)]*AIP
  2. Hiromasa OKU, Idaku ISHII, and Masatoshi ISHIKAWA: Tracking a Protozoon Using High-Speed Visual Feedback, Proc. of 1st Annual Int. IEEE-EMBS Special Topic Conf. on Microtechnologies in Medicine & Biology (Lyon, France, Oct. 12-14, 2000), pp.156-159.

*AIP © 2005 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Review of Scientific Instruments and may be found at

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