Reconstruction, Electron Microscopy
Reconstruction of neural circuits using large volumes of electron microscopy (EM) data is essential for understanding the function and dysfunction of the nervous system. The reconstruction task involves the geometric tracing of each neurite and the identification of the interconnections between neurons in order to obtain a complete wiring diagram of the nervous system, known as the connectome.
To reconstruct the connectome that reveals synaptic connections, the tissue has to be imaged at a sufficiently high resolution. EM can provide image data at nanometer scale and has been a key source of 3D imaging data for the study of neuroanatomy for years (Macagno et al. 1979; Stevens et al. 1980). For example, the entire nervous system (302 neurons and over 7,000 synaptic connections) of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was reconstructed (White et al. 1986) using serial section transmission electron microscopy (ssTEM).
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