Vargas, J.; Franken, E.; Sorzano, C. O. S.; Gomez-Blanco, J.; Schoenmakers, R.; Koster, A. J. & Carazo, J. M. Foil-hole and data image quality assessment in 3DEM: Towards high-throughput image acquisition in the electron microscope. Journal of structural biology, 2016, 196, 515-524
Automatic or semiautomatic data collection approaches on a transmission electron microscope (TEM) for Single Particle Analysis, capable of acquiring large datasets composed of only high quality images, are of great importance to obtain 3D density maps with the highest resolution possible. Typically, this task is performed by an experienced microscopist, who manually decides to keep or discard images according to subjective criteria. Therefore, this methodology is slow, intensive in human work and subjective. In this work, we propose a method to automatically or semiautomatically perform this image selection task. The approach is based on some simple, fast and effective image quality descriptors, which can be computed during acquisition, to characterize foil-hole and data images. The proposed approach has been used to evaluate the quality of different datasets consisting of foil-hole and data images obtained with a FEI Titan Krios electron microscope. The results show that the proposed method is very effective evaluating the quality of foil-hole and data images, as well as predicting the quality of the data images from the foil-hole images.