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J Electron Microsc (Tokyo). 1999;48(3):277-87.

Automatic acquisition of fiducial markers and alignment of images in tilt series for electron tomography.

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Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, USA.


Three-dimensional reconstruction of a section of biological tissue by electron tomography requires precise alignment of a series of two-dimensional images of the section made at numerous successive tilt angles. Gold beads on or in the section serve as fiducial markers. A scheme is described that automatically detects the position of these markers and indexes them from image to image. The resulting set of position vectors are arranged in a matrix representation of the tilt geometry and, by inversion, alignment information is obtained. The scheme is convenient, requires little operator time and provides an accuracy of < 2 pixels RMS. A tilt series of 60-70 images can be aligned in approximately 30 min on any modern desktop computer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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