Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blood Cells and Nuclei

Human blood cells are best viewed under a biological microscope with a minimum of 400x magnification.

Red blood cells are primarily for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide through the use of hemoglobin. A red blood cell life span is about 120 days. White blood cells are cells of the immune system that are involved in defending the body against both foreign materials and infectious diseases. The average life of a white blood cell in the human body is only 3-4 days.

Image of red and while blood cells under a microscope using a blue stain.

At 400x magnification the nuclei of a blood cell is visible. At 1000x magnification you will not necessarily be able to view particles you could not see at 400x, the cells will simply fill up more of your microscope field of view.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Measuring with the Microscope

The best and most accurate way to make measurements with your microscope is by using an eyepiece reticle that has been calibrated with a stage micrometer.

Eyepiece reticles are available in a variety of options for measuring including grids, rulers, cross lines and even specialized reticles for measuring particles or thickness of materials. An eyepiece reticle is a circular piece of glass with a ruler or measuring symbol etched on the glass. The reticle is held in the microscope eyepiece with a retaining ring. When looking through the microscope the reticle image is imposed upon the specimen viewed through the microscope.

In order to make accurate measurements, you need to make a calculation based on the microscope objective lens used. The distance between the lines on the reticle changes depending on which objective lens was used. The formula looks like this:

Reticle division / Objective Lens = Distance Between Lines on Reticle

An example:
If you are using a 10mm reticle with 100 divisions the reticle division = 0.1mm

So the formula looks like this when using the 4x objective lens:
0.1 /  4 = 0.025mm is the distance between each line.

If you were using the 100x objective lens:
0.1 / 100 = 0.001mm is the distance between each line.

Learn more about making accurate measurements here. And for information on calibrating your microscope using a stage micrometer click here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tonsils under the Microscope

Human tonsils are the body's first line of defense against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens. When tonsils become enlarged or inflamed (tonsillitis) they are sometimes removed. The fundamental immunological roles of the tonsils have yet to be understood fully.

This is an image of a human tonsil captured at 400x magnification with the MT4300 biological microscope with the aperture diaphragm closed (allowing less light on the specimen).

Same specimen, but with the aperture all the way open (a bit too much light on the specimen).

Same specimen, with the aperture adjusted to allow the right amount of light through the microscope condenser.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sodium Hydroxide under the Microscope

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is also known as lye or caustic soda. Sodium hydroxide is used in many industries, particularly as a strong chemical base in the manufacturing of paper and pulp, textiles, soap and detergent and as drain cleaners.

In its pure form, sodium hydroxide is a solid white substance available in flakes or granules or as a half-saturated solution. It readily absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and should be stored in an airtight container. Molten sodium hydroxide is a strong base, but the high temperatures required to create molten form limit its applications. A sodium hydroxide solution will leave a yellow stain on fabric and paper.

Captured with the MT9300 polarizing microscope at 40x magnification using the Infinity 2-1 microscope camera, this image of sodium hydroxide was taken of a powder form of the substance.

Same polarizing microscope setup as above and using the same sodium hydroxide sample, but captured at 400x magnification.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Measure with a Microscope

Microscope World recently had a customer that produces plastic films used for food packaging. The customer needed to evaluate the 100um size perforations in the film in order to test the strength and quality of their product. They also wanted to measure the perforations to ensure they were the correct size.

This is what the perforation in the film looks like at 380x magnification.

In order to capture a quality image at 380x magnification a metallurgical microscope is usually required. However, financial constraints can make this microscope out of reach for some customers. A good alternative to a metallurgical microscope is a video inspection system using a macro zoom lens.

Microscope World configured a system using a macro zoom lens on a lighted post stand along with the Infinity 2-1 Monochrome microscope camera (DK1-CCD). With the magnification pushed up to 380x images were captured and then the measurements shown below were made using the software provided with the camera.

Measuring the perforation inner and outer distances.

Measuring inside diameter.

If you have a specific item that you need to view and make measurements, Microscope World is happy to put together a custom quote and capture images of samples prior to making a microscope purchase.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Polarizing Microscope MT9300 Images

The Meiji MT9300 polarizing microscope provides high quality optics with a full-featured polarizing microscope.

Binocular MT9200 polarizing microscope.

All MT9000 polarizing microscopes come standard with 1/4 wave plate, Bertrand lens and first order red plate. Optional Senarmont compensator and quartz wedges are available.

The microscope stage is a ceramic coated, 360 degree rotatable fully indexed stage with vernier and stage clips.

Litric Acid captured at 100x with the MT9300 polarizing microscope using the Lumenera Infinity 2-1 CCD microscope camera.

Litric Acid captured at 100x magnification, same setup as listed above.

Litric Acid captured at 200x magnification, same setup as listed above.

Litric Acid captured at 200x magnification, same setup as listed above.

Litric Acid captured at 400x magnification, same setup as listed above.

Litric Acid captured at 400x magnification, same setup as listed above.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hobby Microscope

Microscopes can be useful for many different hobbies - from model trains to coin collecting or even needle point stitching, microscopes can make the entire experience easier and more fun. Hobby microscopes provide low magnification for viewing more detail in art projects or small pieces.

A stereo zoom microscope will allow you to view small parts at a low magnification, and zoom in to view more details.

This image of a quarter was captured with an inexpensive digital microscope.

Both coin and stamp collectors can view and capture images on a computer screen with the MW1-LD1 digital low power microscope at 20x and 40x magnification.

Whether you are viewing insects and flowers, or a rare collection of coins, a hobby microscope might make your daily work more enjoyable. If you are unsure what microscope you need, give Microscope World a call at 1-800-942-0528 and a specialist will be happy to assist you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sugar under a Polarizing Microscope

In the past we have looked at sugar crystals under a stereo microscope. Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates - made up mostly of sucrose, fructose and lactose. Microscope World placed some sugar crystals under the MT9300 polarizing microscope and using the Jenoptik Speed XT Core5 camera captured the following images. The 1/4 wave plate, polarizer and analyzer allowed the bright colors that you see below to be accentuated under the microscope.

Sugar under the polarizing microscope at 100x magnification.

100x magnification.

100x magnification.

100x magnification.

100x magnification.

200x magnification.

400x magnification.

400x magnification.

400x magnification.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fluoboric Acid Under Microscope

Fluoboric acid (HBF4) is the principal precursor to fluoroborate salts, which are typically prepared by acid-base reactions. The inorganic salts are intermediates in the manufacture of flame-retardant materials and glazing frits, and in electrolytic generation of boron. HBF4 is also used in aluminum etching and acid pickling.

Microscope World captured these images of fluoboric acid using the MT9300 polarizing microscope.

200x magnification.

Polarization allows the colors of the fluoboric acid to show up under the microscope.

400x magnification.