Single Particle Cryo-EM 3-D Reconstruction

By Brian Raub1, Wen Jiang1

1. Purdue University

Reconstruct 3-D structure of macromolecular assemblies (viruses, protein complexes and nano-particles) from single particle cryo-EM images

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    Single Particle Cryo-EM



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Electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) is an emerging powerful method in determination of 3-D structure of large macromolecular machines and nano-particles. Single particle cryo-EM directly images particles frozen at random views in physiologically relevant buffer solution. A high-resolution 3-D structure can be subsequently obtained by accurate determination of the relative views of different particles and then coherent merging of large number of 2-D images into a 3-D density map. The reconstruction is conceptually similar to computed tomography (CT) is medical imaging. The Jiang group is interested in developing cryo-EM technique into a high resolution and high throughput method that can be applied to broad range of applications in biology and bionanotechnology. This DiaGrid tool makes the image processing and 3-D reconstruction methods developed by Jiang group and the EMAN/EMAN2 software methods accessible online with several potential benefits:

  • pre-configured installation. As a user, you don't need to worry about software download and installation. Just focus on your science projects.
  • rapid dissemination of new algorithms. Newly developed image processing algorithms can be installed here to immediately benefit all user projects.
  • large computing resource. The computational resources for image processing/3-D reconstruction tasks are provided at no cost to users by DiaGrid which leverages the vast amount of computing resources at Purdue and its partner institutions.

Please follow these documents to get started: Step-by-step tutorial | Principles of Cryo-EM Image Processing and 3-D Reconstruction


Brian Raub, Wen Jiang (Purdue University); EMAN/EMAN2 Developers

Sponsored by

DiaGrid, Purdue University

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Brian Raub; Wen Jiang (2016), "Single Particle Cryo-EM 3-D Reconstruction,"

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