Biological systems are intrinsically three dimensional. Capturing this third dimension with both good fidelity and for larger volumes are particularly useful for neural circuit reconstruction. Electron microscopes are the time-tested way to resolve the thin membranes, synapse, and fine processes that define a circuit. There are many different 3D electron microscope technologies, each with advantages and trade-offs in throughput, lateral resolution, vertical resolution, defects of missing volumes, and ease of automation. Furthermore, since the true limitations are in image processing, these data attributes critically influence ease of registration, segmentation, tracing, annotation, etc. Obtaining usable data requires a tight interaction between sample preparation, image processing, and data acquisition for best and timely reconstruction. Sample preparation, algorithms, and acquisition development go hand in hand.
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Large-Volume High-Throughput 3D Electron Microscopy
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