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REVIEW: Electron Tomography of Biological Samples

S. Marco*, T. Boudier, C. Messaoudi, and J.-L. Rigaud

Institut Curie, Section Recherche, UMR-CNRS 168 et LRC-CEA 34V 11, rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris, France; fax: +33 1 40 51 36 06; E-mail: sergio.marco@curie.fr

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received July 23, 2004
Electron tomography allows computing three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of objects from their projections recorded at several angles. Combined with transmission electron microscopy, electron tomography has contributed greatly to the understanding of subcellular structures and organelles. Performed on frozen-hydrated samples, electron tomography has yielded useful information about complex biological structures. Combined with energy filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) it can be used to analyze the spatial distribution of chemical elements in biological or material sciences samples. In the present review, we present an overview of the requirements, applications, and perspectives of electron tomography in structural biology.
KEY WORDS: electron microscopy, electron tomography, image analysis, 3D-reconstruction