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Abstract

The structural modeling and representation of cells is a complex task as different microscopic, spectroscopic and other information resources have to be combined to achieve a three-dimensional representation with high accuracy. Moreover, to provide an appropriate spatial representation of the cell, a stereoscopic 3D (S3D) visualization is favorable. In this work, a structural cell model is created by combining information from various light microscopic and electron microscopic images as well as from publication-related data. At the mesoscopic level each cell component is presented with special structural and visual properties; at the molecular level a cell membrane composition and the underlying modeling method are discussed; and structural information is correlated with those at the functional level (represented by simplified energy-producing metabolic pathways). The organism used as an example is the unicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which might be important in future alternative energy production processes. Based on the 3D model, an educative S3D animation was created which was shown at conferences. The complete workflow was accomplished by using the open source 3D modeling software Blender.

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