Thursday, October 22, 2009

Microscope Project: Mouth Smear

For today's microscope project you will need a compound high power microscope, a blank microscope slide, and a cover slip. Take a toothpick or a Q-Tip and gently swipe the inside of your cheek. Place the specimen from inside your mouth on the blank microscope slide and cover with a cover slip.

Place the slide you just prepared under the microscope and start at the lowest (40x) magnification. Once you get the specimen in focus, move up to 100x and then 400x magnification.

Human Cheek Cells, captured at 400x magnification.

Draw a picture of what you see through the microscope. Can you identify the individual cells from your cheek? Identify the nucleus of these cells as well. Notice the different number of cells you can see in your field of view at 100x versus 400x magnification.