Monday, April 29, 2013

Saudering under the Microscope

A customer of Microscope World needed to view their saudering work under a microscope. These images were captured using the MC-70 measuring microscope with the DCC5.1P 5 megapixel microscope camera with advanced software for measuring.

50x Magnification
100x Magnification
Soldering under the microscope is commonly performed using a stereo microscope because the stereo microscope provides greater working distance and room beneath the microscope to perform the soldering. The images above were captured after the soldering was completed rather than during the process and therefore a measuring microscope was used in order to view more detail.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wastewater Treatment Microscopes

Wastewater treatment involves the process of identifying and eliminating microorganisms including:
  • Bacteria - These small, single-celled organisms are found in large numbers in polluted water. Phase contrast is used to identify most bacteria in wastewater.
  • Protozoa - These single-celled organisms are typically much larger than bacteria and are typically found in large numbers in wastewater, many being quite mobile. Protozoa have received increased attention because of their connection with waterborne diseases such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
  • Metazoa - Multi-celled organisms that are larger and more complex than Protozoa. Rotifers are included in this group and are fairly common in wastewater treatment processes, as they play an active role in the breakdown of organic wastes. Observing and quantifying rotifers contributes to the evaluation of treatment conditions. 
  • Viruses - These are much smaller than bacteria and can not be seen with a conventional microscope. Viruses are parasites and therefore can only reproduce within a host cell (such as bacteria). Although viruses do not play a known role in wastewater treatment, they are important to water quality professionals. Many diseases caused by viruses can be transmitted through polluted waters.
Photo Courtesy Environmental Leverage
There are two types of wastewater treatment microscopes. A simple wastewater brightfield particulate microscope is used to identify particulate matter. These microscopes might be used in the food industry to determine if the manufacturing process is placing too much particle matter into the sewer system.

The more common wastewater treatment microscopes use phase contrast to identify bacteria, protozoa and rotifers. The microscope systems created specifically for wastewater treatment include all specific items required to identify (and capture images if needed) the most common microlife found in wastewater.

If you have specific questions regarding the wastewater treatment process or selection of a wastewater treatment microscope, please contact us.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Measuring Layers

Microscope World recently had a customer with the need to measure gold layers on printed circuit boards. The gold layers also needed to be measured. The microscope setup for solving this problem included the MC-70 measuring microscope with the DCC5.1P CCD microscope camera with advanced measuring software.

50x Magnification
Notice the two separate layers of gold captured in the above image.

200x Magnification
The above image was captured at 200x magnification and using the DCC5.1P camera with advanced software, in the middle of the image you will notice a small vertical red line that measured the thickness of the gold layer at 2mils.

If you have questions regarding making measurements of layers please email us regarding your specific application.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stereo Microscope Magnification

The stereo microscope is a low power microscope that uses several lenses to arrive at the total magnification.

HSZ6-TBL stereo microscope is shown above.
Every stereo microscope derives its total magnification from a combination of the eyepieces and the built-in objective lens.
  • Eyepieces are typically 10x magnification, although they are occasionally 15x or 20x.
  • The built-in objective lens can be single (1x for example), dual (2x and 4x for example), or zoom (1x-4x with every magnification in between).
If you combine the above two items, you will find the total magnification of the stereo microscope. The eyepieces will generally have an inscription on them such as WF10X/20. This means the eyepieces are 10x magnification with a 20mm field of view. The objective lens value is typically printed on the edge of the objective, or on the zoom knob on the side of the microscope. If it says 1x-4x, then your total magnification with 10x eyepieces would be 10x-40x.

There are a few other options for manipulating total magnification on a stereo microscope. An optional auxiliary lens can be screwed onto the bottom of the objective lens on most stereo zoom microscopes in order to increase or decrease total magnification and working distance. Typical auxiliary lens magnifications include 0.5x, 1.5x, or 2x. With the above mentioned microscope setup of 10x eyepieces and a 1x-4x built-in objective lens, if you added a 1.5x auxiliary lens the total magnification would become 15x-60x.

Finally, the c-mount adapter affects the magnification of the camera. Most of the time it is easier to use the microscope if the image seen through the eyepieces is the same magnification that the camera sees. This is accomplished by matching the microscope eyepiece magnification with the pairing of the magnification in the c-mount adapter with the chip size in the camera. There is a chart on this page that explains matching c-mount adapters with image sensors.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Live Blood under Darkfield Microscope

These images of live blood cells using darkfield were captured with the BA310 phase contrast microscope at 400x magnification. The Moticam X wireless microscope camera was used to capture the images.

Live blood cells under darkfield microscope.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Insect Antennae

Insect antennae are paired appendages used for sensing in anthropods. Antennae are connected to the front-most segment of the insect and are the primary olfactory sensors of insects.

Illustration: L. Shyamal
Insect antennae come in a number of different shapes, each of which is labeled above.

Insect antennae captured at 100x magnification under a student biological microscope.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Paramecium Fission

Paramecia are widespread in freshwater and marine environments, and can often be found in stagnant water and ponds. These species are easy to cultivate and divide and therefore the Paramecium has been used extensively in classrooms and labs to study biological processes.

Paramecium fission captured under the MW2-HD2 digital student high school microscope.

Paramecium range in size from 50-330 micrometers in length. Cells are usually elongated and the body of the cell is enclosed by a stiff but elastic membrane, uniformly covered in cilia which allow the organism to move in one direction. In all species there is a deep groove running from the anterior of the cell to its midpoint. This is lined with inconspicuous cilia which beat continuously, drawing food inside the cell.

Paramecium fission captured with the MW4-HD2 digital University microscope.

The question of whether Paramecia exhibit learning has long been a specific point of experimentation, yielding positive results. In an experiment published in 2006, the authors concluded that by using voltage as a reinforcement, Paramecium may indeed learn to discriminate between different brightness levels.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Microscope Camera Tablet

Microscope World is excited to introduce the microscope camera tablet. This Android tablet has a touch screen with live viewing and capture options. The table camera has a c-mount thread connection that will connect to any microscope c-mount adapter.

The microscope camera tablet is available in two different sizes, each having a few variations as shown in the table below. The 7" tablet is a basic microscope camera tablet, while the 9.7" tablet has advanced features including advanced software that can be calibrated and allows for measuring.

7" Microscope Camera Tablet vs. 9.7" Microscope Camera Tablet

If you have specific questions regarding the microscope camera tablet don't hesitate to email us.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Muskie Fish Egg

The muskellunge, also known as "muskie", is a species of large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. The muskellunge is the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae.

Muskie fish egg captured at 600x magnification using the Moticam580 microscope camera and the Motic BA310 biology microscope. (Photo: Kevin Bushnick, Youth Conservation Alliance)

The Youth Conservation Alliance is a charity designed to teach environmental education, highlighting fishing as a family activity; something everyone can enjoy regardless of age. The Alliance teaches kids not only about fishing, but also about lake ecosystems and what it takes to support a healthy fishing environment.

"Microscopes are a key part of this learning initiative as we show the kids how the life of a fish begins and what types of things we need to do to keep a lake environment and the fish in them healthy. We use state-of-the-art microscopes from Microscope World to assist us as we navigate through the many different types of scopes and applications. Thank you very much to everyone at Microscope World for your guidance and continued support."
~Kevin Bushnick, YCA Founder & Chairman

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Antibodies under the Microscope

An antibody (immunoglobulin), is a large Y-shaped protein produced by B-cells that is used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses. The antibody recognizes a unique part of the foreign target, called an antigen. Each tip of the "Y" shape of an antibody contains a paratope (a structure similar to a lock) that is specific for one particular epitope (similarly analogous to a key) on an antigen, allowing these two structures to bind together with precision. Using this binding mechanism, an antibody can tag a microbe or an infected cell for attack by other parts of the immune system, or can neutralize its target directly.

The production of antibodies is the main function of the humoral immune system. Antibodies are secreted by a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.

The images below are antibodies that are used for testing auto immune diseases. They were captured using the DCM3.1 microscope camera and software with the BA310 biological microscope.

Antibody 40x

Antibody 100x

Antibody 100x
Antibody 100x

Antibody 100x

Antibody 40x