2D Particle Alignment and Classification
The fine structural details of individual particles can be difficult to discern from raw images taken on an electron microscope. This is due to the low signal to noise ratio typical for imaging of radiation-sensitive biological samples. It becomes even more challenging when the particles are conformationally or compositionally heterogeneous.
To enhance the signal and thus increase the level of information that can be gleaned from the images, 2D class averaging is used. In this process, individual particles are selected from TEM images, aligned relative to each other, and then computationally classified based on apparent similarities. In this way each particle class becomes an average of many similar particles and this enhances the overall signal.
These 2D class averages provide a rich source of information on basic particle features, domain structures, and can also help in understanding their degree of particle flexibility. This service can be used with both negative stain and cryoEM images.
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