vLUME: 3D Virtual Reality for Single-molecule Localization Microscopy

Alexander Spark, Alexandre Kitching, Daniel Esteban-Ferrer, Anoushka Handa, Alexander R. Carr, Lisa-Maria Needham, Aleks Ponjavic, Mafalda Da Cunha Santos, James McColl, Christophe Leterrier, Simon J. Davis, Ricardo Henriques, Steven F. Lee

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Super-Resolution (SR) Microscopy based on 3D Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy (SMLM) is now well established1,2 and its wide-spread adoption has led to the development of more than 36 software packages, dedicated to quantitative evaluation of the spatial and temporal detection of fluorophore photoswitching3. While the initial emphasis in the 3D SMLM field has clearly been on improving resolution and data quality, there is now a marked absence of 3D visualization approaches that enable the straightforward, high-fidelity exploration of this type of data. Inspired by the horological phosphorescence points that illuminate watch-faces in the dark, we present vLUME (Visualization of the Universe in a Micro Environment, pronounced ‘volume’) a free-for-academic-use immersive virtual reality-based (VR) visualization software package purposefully designed to render large 3D-SMLM data sets. vLUME enables robust visualization, segmentation and quantification of millions of fluorescence puncta from any 3D SMLM technique. vLUME has an intuitive user-interface and is compatible with all commercial VR hardware (Oculus Rift/Quest and HTC Vive, Supplementary Video 1). vLUME accelerates the analysis of highly complex 3D point-cloud data and the rapid identification of defects that are otherwise neglected in global quality metrics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2020

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