Gil D, Carazo JM, Marabini R (2006) On the nature of 2D crystal unbending. J Struct Biol 156:546–555
Crystal unbending, the process that aims to recover a perfect crystal from experimental data, is one of the more important steps in electron crystallography image processing. The unbending process involves three steps: estimation of the unit cell displacements from their ideal positions, extension of the deformation field to the whole image and transformation of the image in order to recover an ideal crystal. In this work, we present a systematic analysis of the second step oriented to address two issues. First, whether the unit cells remain undistorted and only the distance between them should be changed (rigid case) or should be modified with the same deformation suffered by the whole crystal (elastic case). Second, the performance of different extension algorithms (interpolation versus approximation) is explored. Our experiments show that there is no difference between elastic and rigid cases or among the extension algorithms. This implies that the deformation fields are constant over large areas. Furthermore, our results indicate that the main source of error is the transformation of the crystal image.
3D Crystals, unbending