Electron digital imaging toward high-resolution structure analysis of biological macromolecules

Saori Maki-Yonekura, Koji Yonekura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Digital imaging has been applied to structure analysis of biological macromolecules in combination with electron energy filtering. Energy filtering can improve the image contrast of frozen-hydrated specimens, but needs a high-sensitivity imaging device instead of photographic film, because of a decrease in electrons after filtration. Here, a lens-coupled slow-scan charge-coupled device (SSCCD) camera with a post-column-type energy filter were examined to image bacterial flagellar filaments embedded in ice. We first measured the modulation transfer function of this camera and showed the remarkable improvement, compared to other fiber-coupled SSCCD cameras. The 3D structure calculated at ∼7-Å resolution clearly resolves α-helices. Furthermore, filtered datasets recorded on the SSCCD camera with liquid-nitrogen and liquid-helium cooling were compared with the previous unfiltered one on film with liquid-helium cooling. This report describes the suitability of digital imaging with energy filtering for higher-resolution structure studies from its practical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-369
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryoelectron microscopy
  • Flagellar filament
  • Liquid-helium cooling
  • MTF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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