The restoration of electron micrographs blurred by drift and rotation

Bridget Carragher, David A. Bluemke, Michael J. Potel, Robert Josephs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We have investigated the restoration of electron micrographs exhibiting blurring due to drift and rotation. Blurring due to drift arises in micrographs taken of a specimen which is moving relative to the image plane. A related problem is that of rotational blurring which arises in micrographs of thin sections of helical particles viewed in cross section. The twist of the particle within the finite thickness of the section causes the image to appear rotationally blurred about the helical axis. Restoration algorithms were evaluated by applying them to the restoration of blurred model images degraded by additive Gaussian noise. Model images were also used to investigate how an incorrect estimate of the point spread function function describing the blur would effect the restoration. Images were, if necessary, geometrically transformed to a space in which the point spread function of the blur can be considered as linear and space invariant as, under these conditions, the restoration algorithms are greatly simplified. In the case of the rotationally blurred images this procedur was accomplished by transforming the image to polar coordinates. The restoration techniques were successfully applied to blurred micrographs of bacteriophage T4 and crystals of catalase. The quality of the restoration was judged by comparisons of the restored images to undegraded images. Application to micrographs of rotationally blurred cross sections of helical macrofibers of sickle hemoglobin resulted in a reduction in the amount of rotational blurring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-187
Number of pages12
JournalProteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Wiener filtering
  • drifted micrographs
  • image analysis
  • rotational blur
  • sickle hemoglobin
  • thin sections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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