Fernandez, J.-J.; Li, S.; Bharat, T. A. M. & Agard, D. A. Cryo-tomography tilt-series alignment with consideration of the beam-induced sample motion. J. Structural Biology, 2018, 202, 200-209.
Recent evidence suggests that the beam-induced motion of the sample during tilt-series acquisition is a major resolution-limiting factor in electron cryo-tomography (cryoET). It causes suboptimal tilt-series alignment and thus deterioration of the reconstruction quality. Here we present a novel approach to tilt-series alignment and tomographic reconstruction that considers the beam-induced sample motion through the tilt-series. It extends the standard fiducial-based alignment approach in cryoET by introducing quadratic polynomials to model the sample motion. The model can be used during reconstruction to yield a motion-compensated tomogram. We evaluated our method on various datasets with different sample sizes. The results demonstrate that our method could be a useful tool to improve the quality of tomograms and the resolution in cryoET.