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J Struct Biol. 2003 Oct-Nov;144(1-2):114-22.

Applications of a bilateral denoising filter in biological electron microscopy.

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Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Due to the sensitivity of biological sample to the radiation damage, the low dose imaging conditions used for electron microscopy result in extremely noisy images. The processes of digitization, image alignment, and 3D reconstruction also introduce additional sources of noise in the final 3D structure. In this paper, we investigate the effectiveness of a bilateral denoising filter in various biological electron microscopy applications. In contrast to the conventional low pass filters, which inevitably smooth out both noise and structural features simultaneously, we found that bilateral filter holds a distinct advantage in being capable of effectively suppressing noise without blurring the high resolution details. In as much, we have applied this technique to individual micrographs, entire 3D reconstructions, segmented proteins, and tomographic reconstructions.

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