Bridging the imaging gap: Visualizing subcellular architecture with electron tomography

Sriram Subramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transmission electron microscopy is a powerful tool that is used to explore the internal structure of tissues, cells, organelles and macromolecular complexes. By integrating data from a series of images in which the orientation of the specimen is progressively varied relative to the incident electron beam it is also possible to extend electron microscopic imaging into the third dimension. This approach, commonly referred to as electron tomography, has been greatly aided in recent years by advances in technology for imaging specimens at cryogenic temperatures, as well as by substantial progress in procedures for automated data collection and image processing. The intense pace of developments in this field is inspired, in a large part, by the hope that the quality of the data will ultimately be good enough to allow interpretation of tomograms of cells, organelles, bacteria and viruses in terms of the three-dimensional spatial arrangements of the constituent molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-322
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology


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