Monday, January 30, 2017

Tongue Taste Buds under the Microscope

A taste bud is a small organ located on the tongue in terrestrial vertebrates that functions in the perception of taste. In fish, taste buds occur on the lips, the flanks, and the caudal (tail) fins of some species and on the barbels of catfish.

Taste receptor cells, with which incoming chemicals from food and other sources interact, occur on the tongue in groups of 50-150. Each of these groups forms a taste bud, which is grouped together with other taste buds into taste papillae. The taste buds are embedded in the epithelium of the tongue and make contact with the outside environment through a taste pore. Slender processes (microvilli) extend from the outer ends of the receptor cells through the taste pore, where the processes are covered by the mucus that lines the oral cavity. At their inner ends the taste receptor cells synapse, or connect, with afferent sensory neurons, nerve cells that conduct information to the brain. Each receptor cell synapses with several afferent sensory neurons, and each afferent neuron branches to several taste papillae, where each branch makes contact with many receptor cells. The afferent sensory neurons occur in three different nerves running to the brain—the facial nerve, the glossopharyngeal nerve, and the vagus nerve. Taste receptor cells of vertebrates are continually renewed throughout the life of the organism.

On average, the human tongue has 2,000–8,000 taste buds, implying that there are hundreds of thousands of receptor cells. However, the number of taste buds varies widely. For example, per square centimeter on the tip of the tongue, some people may have only a few individual taste buds, whereas others may have more than one thousand; this variability contributes to differences in the taste sensations experienced by different people. Taste sensations produced within an individual taste bud also vary, since each taste bud typically contains receptor cells that respond to distinct chemical stimuli—as opposed to the same chemical stimulus. As a result, the sensation of different tastes (i.e., salty, sweet, sour, bitter, or umami) is diverse not only within a single taste bud but also throughout the surface of the tongue.

The taste receptor cells of other animals can often be characterized in ways similar to those of humans, because all animals have the same basic needs in selecting food. Carnivores and not humans have taste buds that are tuned for water. This taste sense is found at the tip of the tongue, which the part of the tongue for instance dogs curl to lap water. This area responds to water at all times but when the dog has eaten salty or sugary foods the sensitivity to the taste of water increases. The guess is that this ability to taste water evolved as a way for the body to keep internal fluids in balance after the animal has eaten things that will either result in more urine being passed, or will require more water to adequately process.

The images below are of a rabbit's taste buds and were captured by Microscope World using a clinical lab microscope and a high definition microscopy camera.

Microscopy image of rabbit taste buds captured by Microscope World at 40x.
Rabbit taste buds captured under a lab microscope at 40x.

Microscope World image of rabbit taste buds captured under the microscope at 100x magnification.
Rabbit taste buds captured under a lab microscope at 100x.

Microscopy image of rabbit taste buds at 400x captured by Microscope World.
Rabbit taste buds captured under a lab microscope at 400x.

Contact Microscope World with microscopy questions.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

IMA/USP 788 Particulate Matter Pharmaceutical Microscopes

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) sets standards for the identity, strength, quality and purity of medicines, food ingredients and dietary supplements worldwide. USP's drug standards are enforceable in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and these standards are used in more than 140 countries.

The IMA/USP 788 is a test in the pharmaceutical industry for particulate matter in injections. Method 2 of this test is a Microscopic Particle Count Test. Microscope World carries microscopes that meet the standards required by IMA/USP 788 for the microscopic particle count test. The microscopes each have the required episcopic brightfield internal illumination and oblique illumination. Each specific microscope magnification factor (MF) is determined by Microscope World using a NIST certified stage micrometer in order to produce the custom IMA/USP 788 ocular micrometer that is calibrated and installed into the microscope prior to shipment. Each microscope includes a calibration certificate.

Pharmaceutical microscope that meets IMA/USP 788 requirements for particulate matter in injections.
IMA/USP 788 Pharmaceutical Binocular Microscope

IMA/USP 788 microscope that meets standards for particulate matter in injections with digital camera and software.
IMA/USP 788 Digital Pharmaceutical Microscope

Monday, January 23, 2017

Telephone Cable Wires under the Microscope

Microscope World recently had a customer interested in viewing the internal cables of their telephone wires under the microscope. The images below are of a telephone cable and were captured using the SMZ168 stereo zoom microscope with the HDCAM4 high definition microscopy camera.

Microscopy image of a telephone cable captured under the microscope at 10x.
Telephone cable under the SMZ168 stereo microscope at 10x.

Telephone cable under the microscope at 20x.
Telephone cable under the SMZ168 stereo microscope at 20x.

Microscope World image of a telephone cable captured at 40x magnification.
Telephone cable under the SMZ168 stereo microscope at 40x.

Microscopy image of telephone wires captured under the microscope at 50x.
Telephone cable under the SMZ168 stereo microscope at 50x.

100x magnification telephone wire.
Telephone cable under the SMZ168 stereo microscope at 100x.

Notice that the last image isn't entirely in focus, this is because the sample is not entirely flat and parts of the wire are out of the smaller focus area that is found at higher magnifications.

For questions regarding microscopy images and applications contact Microscope World.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kidney under the Microscope

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that extract waste from the blood, balance body fluids, form urine, and aid in other important functions of the body. The kidneys reside against the back muscles in the upper abdominal cavity. They sit opposite each other on either side of the spine.

These are a few of the kidney's responsibilities:
  • Waste Excretion: The kidneys filter out toxins, excess salts, and urea, a nitrogen-based waste created by cell metabolism. Urea is synthesized in the liver and transported through the blood to the kidneys for removal.
  • Water Level Balancing: Since the kidneys are key in the chemical breakdown of urine, they react to changes in the body's water level throughout the day. As water intake decreases, the kidneys adjust accordingly and leave water in the body instead of helping excrete it.
  • Blood Pressure Regulation: The kidneys need constant pressure to filter the blood. When it drops too low, the kidneys increase pressure. One way is by producing a blood vessel constricting protein (angiotensin) that also signals the body to retain sodium and water. Both the constriction and retention help restore normal blood pressure.
  • Red Blood Cell Regulation: When the kidneys don't get enough oxygen, they send out a distress call in the form of erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to produce more oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
  • Acid Regulation: As cells metabolize, they produce acids. Foods we eat can either increase the acid in our body or neutralize it. In order to function properly the body must keep a healthy balance of these chemicals. The kidneys perform this job also.
People can live with only one kidney and transplant surgeries with live donors are common in medical procedures today.

The kidney microscopy images below were captured under the Fein Optic RB30 lab microscope using a 5 megapixel CMOS camera.

Microscope World image of a kidney under the lab microscope at 40x magnification.
Kidney under the microscope at 40x.

Microscopy image of a kidney captured at 100x.
Kidney under the microscope at 100x.

Microscope image of the kidney captured at 400x magnification.
Kidney under the microscope at 400x.

Contact Microscope World with questions regarding microscope systems and digital cameras.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What are Backlit CMOS Sensor Microscopy Cameras?

Typically there have been two image sensors used in microscopy cameras: CCD and CMOS. The CCD (Charge Coupled Device) sensor historically created less noise, but these were also more expensive than CMOS sensors. CMOS (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semi-conductor) sensors are camera sensors that are constructed on one large piece of silicon to include electronic circuitry for controlling the sensor by mounting them on the surface of the silicon instead of being contained in a separate circuit.

A back-illuminated or backlit CMOS sensor is different from a traditional CMOS sensor in that all the wiring and circuitry used to carry electronic signals from each pixel is located at the back of the sensor instead of on the front. By moving this circuitry to the back of the sensor more light is able to reach each pixel, which results in the backlit CMOS sensor being able to record images in lower light and with less digital noise. Digital noise in photos typically results in photos with more fuzz, especially in low light.

Jenoptik backlit CMOS sensor microscopy cameras.
Jenoptik Microscopy Cameras
The Jenoptik line of microscopy cameras all have backlit CMOS sensors and perform exceptionally well in low light conditions. The microscope cameras include:

  • Arktur - 8 Megapixel Color Camera
  • Subra - Full HD Color Microscope Camera
  • Naos - 19.4 Megapixel color Camera
  • Kapella - Full HD / 2.3 Megapixel Color Camera
  • Rigel - Full HD / 2.3 Megapixel Monochrome Camera
  • Prokyon - 20.7 Megapixel Color Camera

View a chart comparing all the Jenoptik microscopy cameras here.

Contact Microscope World with questions regarding microscopy cameras and sensors.