Three-dimensional electron microscopy of entire cells.

Swiss National Centre for Retroviruses, Zürich, Switzerland.
Journal of Microscopy (Impact Factor: 2.15). 02/1990; 157(Pt 1):115-26. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.1990.tb02952.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The digital processing of serial electron-microscope sections containing laser-induced topographical references allows a three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction of entire cells at a depth resolution of 40-60 nm by the use of novel image analysis methods. The images are directly processed by a video-camera placed under the electron microscope in TEM mode or by the electron counting device in STEM mode. The deformations associated with the cutting of embedded cells are back-calculated by new computer algorithms developed for image analysis and treatment. They correct the artefacts caused by serial sectioning and automatically reconstruct the third dimension of the cells. Used in such a way, our data provide definitive information on the 3-D architecture of cells. This computer-assisted 3-D analysis represents a new tool for the documentation and analysis of cell ultrastructure and for morphometric studies. Furthermore, it is now possible for the observer to view the contents of the reconstructed tissue volume in a variety of different ways using computer-aided display techniques.

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    ABSTRACT: The digital processing of electron microscopic images from serial sections containing laser-induced topographical references allows a 3-D reconstruction at a depth resolution of 30 to 40 nm of entire cells by the use of image analysis methods, as already demonstrated for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) coupled with a video camera. We decided to use a Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) to get higher contrast and better resolution at medium magnification. The scanning of our specimens at video frequencies is an attractive and easy way to link a STEM with an image processing system but the hysteresis of the electronic spools responsible for the magnetic deviation of the scanning electron beam induces deformations of images which have to be modelized and corrected before registration. Computer algorithms developed for image analysis and treatment correct the artifacts caused by the use of STEM and by serial sectioning to automatically reconstruct the third dimension of the cells. They permit the normalization of the images through logarithmic processing of the original grey level infonnation. The automatic extraction of cell limits allows to link the image analysis and treatments with image synthesis methods by minimal human intervention. The surface representation and the registered images provide an ultrastructural data base from which quantitative 3-D morphological parameters, as well as otherwise impossible visualizations, can be computed. This 3-D image processing named C.A.V.U.M. for Computer Aided Volumic Ultra-Microscopy offers a new tool for the documentation and analysis of cell ultrastructure and for 3-D morphometric studies at EM magnifications. Further, a virtual observer can be computed in such a way as to simulate a visit of the reconstructed object. © (1990) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only. Topics 3D modeling ; Algorithms ; Cameras ; Computing systems ; Digital signal processing ; Electron beams ; Electron microscopes ; Electron microscopy ; Electronic imaging ; Electrons
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