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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 6482567, 17 pages
Review Article

A Survey of the Use of Iterative Reconstruction Algorithms in Electron Microscopy

1Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC, c/Darwin 3, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
2Universidad CEU San Pablo, Campus Urbanizacion Montepríncipe, Boadilla del Monte, 28668 Madrid, Spain
3Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to C. O. S. Sorzano; se.cisc.bnc@ssoc

Received 16 September 2016; Accepted 9 March 2017; Published 17 September 2017

Academic Editor: Achim Langenbucher

Copyright © 2017 C. O. S. Sorzano et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


One of the key steps in Electron Microscopy is the tomographic reconstruction of a three-dimensional (3D) map of the specimen being studied from a set of two-dimensional (2D) projections acquired at the microscope. This tomographic reconstruction may be performed with different reconstruction algorithms that can be grouped into several large families: direct Fourier inversion methods, back-projection methods, Radon methods, or iterative algorithms. In this review, we focus on the latter family of algorithms, explaining the mathematical rationale behind the different algorithms in this family as they have been introduced in the field of Electron Microscopy. We cover their use in Single Particle Analysis (SPA) as well as in Electron Tomography (ET).