Sorzano, C. O. S.; de Isidro-Gómez, F.; Fernández-Giménez, E.; Herreros, D.; Marco, S.; Carazo, J. M.; Messaoudi, C. Improvements on marker-free images alignment for electron tomography, J. Structural Biology X, 2020, 4, 100037
Electron tomography is a technique to obtain three-dimensional structural information of samples. However, the technique is limited by shifts occurring during acquisition that need to be corrected before the reconstruction process. In 2009, we proposed an approach for post-acquisition alignment of tilt series images. This approach was marker-free, based on patch tracking and integrated in free software. Here, we present improvements to the method to make it more reliable, stable and accurate. In addition, we modified the image formation model underlying the alignment procedure to include different deformations occurring during acquisition. We propose a new way to correct these computed deformations to obtain reconstructions with reduced artifacts. The new approach has demonstrated to improve the quality of the final 3D reconstruction, giving access to better defined structures for different transmission electron tomography methods: resin embedded STEM-tomography and cryoTEM tomography. The method is freely available in TomoJ software.