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APM_GUI: analyzing particle movement on the cell membrane and determining confinement

Silvia A Menchón12*, Mauricio G Martín13 and Carlos G Dotti13*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics, VIB Center for the Biology of Disease and Center for Human Genetics, KULeuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49 - bus 602, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

2 IFEG-CONICET and FaMAF, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina

3 Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, CSIC-UAM, Campus Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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Citation and License

BMC Biophysics 2012, 5:4  doi:10.1186/2046-1682-5-4

Published: 20 February 2012



Single-particle tracking is a powerful tool for tracking individual particles with high precision. It provides useful information that allows the study of diffusion properties as well as the dynamics of movement. Changes in particle movement behavior, such as transitions between Brownian motion and temporary confinement, can reveal interesting biophysical interactions. Although useful applications exist to determine the paths of individual particles, only a few software implementations are available to analyze these data, and these implementations are generally not user-friendly and do not have a graphical interface,.


Here, we present APM_GUI (Analyzing Particle Movement), which is a MatLab-implemented application with a Graphical User Interface. This user-friendly application detects confined movement considering non-random confinement when a particle remains in a region longer than a Brownian diffusant would remain. In addition, APM_GUI exports the results, which allows users to analyze this information using software that they are familiar with.


APM_GUI provides an open-source tool that quantifies diffusion coefficients and determines whether trajectories have non-random confinements. It also offers a simple and user-friendly tool that can be used by individuals without programming skills.