A visualization and segmentation toolbox for electron microscopy

J Struct Biol. 2008 Oct;164(1):161-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 May 17.


Three-dimensional image analysis includes image processing, segmentation and visualization operations, which facilitate the interpretation of data. We have developed a toolbox for three-dimensional (3D) electron microscopy (EM) in Amira, which is a commercial software package, used by many laboratories. Our toolbox integrates a number of established procedures specifically tailored for 3D EM. These include input-output, filtering, segmentation, visualization and ray-tracing functions, which can be accessed directly from a user-friendly pop-up menu. They allow performing denoising and segmentation tasks directly in Amira, without the need of other programs, and ultimately allow the visualization of the results at photo-realistic quality with ray-tracing. They also allow a direct interaction with the data, such that, e.g., sub-tomograms can be directly extracted, or segmentation areas can be interactively selected. The implemented functions are fast, reliable and intuitive, yielding a comprehensive package for visualization in EM.

MeSH terms

  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Microscopy, Electron / instrumentation*
  • Software*