Friday, May 30, 2014

Follow Microscope World on Google+

Follow Microscope World on Google+ for images under the microscope, links to interesting microscopy articles and videos.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Metal Coating Inspection under Microscope

Microscope World recently had a customer who needed to view the consistency of coating on metal parts. Using the macro zoom lens microscope system, they were able to view and capture images at 15x and 160x magnification in order to inspect the layering (and pealing) of the metal coating.

metal under microscope
Metal piece for microscope inspection.
metal captured at 15x
Captured under the microscope at 15x magnification.
Microscope - metal at 160x magnification
Tip of a prong shown above captured at 160x magnification under the microscope.
All images were captured using a macro zoom lens, LED ring light and a 5 megapixel microscope camera. For custom macro zoom lens solutions please contact Microscope World.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kids Microscope Ideas

Dissecting microscopes are great learning tools for younger kids, as just about anything found in the yard or around the house can be placed under the microscope for observation.

Here are some ideas of samples to look at under the microscope.
  • Pet hair versus human hair
  • Small insects - spiders, ants, gnats, beetles, etc.
  • Newsprint of package printing
  • Dollar bill
  • Flowers
  • Blades of grass
  • Pollen from a flower
  • Dirt and grease
  • Sugar and salt
  • Fabric and thread
  • Shoelaces
  • Coins and stamps
Fabric under the microscope
Fabric under the microscope.

What do you like to look at under the microscope? Share images or ideas with us on the Microscope World Facebook page, we'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Printed Packaging Under the Microscope

Printed packaging is often placed under a microscope in order to view ink printing quality. Microscope World was contacted by a packaging printing company to help them configure a microscope system to analyze their printed inks.
macro zoom lens microscope system
Macro zoom Lens

A macro zoom lens microscope system was used to analyze the printed ink on the packaging shown below.
Packaging placed under the zoom lens.
Ink under the microscope
Ink under the microscope.
The image above was captured from the packaging shown above. It is the text between the two words "Healthy Life". For more information on macro zoom lens configurations and custom solutions contact Microscope World.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Special Microscope Objective Lens Inscriptions

Microscope objective lenses sometimes have special uses. Below you will find information on some of the inscriptions that you may find on your microscope objective lenses.

Microscope objective lenses (image)
  • NIC - this objective lens is preferred for use with Nomarski microscopy.
  • DIC - this microscope objective is used for differential interference contrast.
  • UV - Ordinary glass is relatively opaque to ultraviolet light wave lengths below 400 nanometers. UV objectives contain specially formulated glass elements and coatings in order to transmit a relatively high percentage of light of such wavelengths. These particular microscope objectives are useful for near ultraviolet excitation in reflected light fluorescence work. 
  • PL or NH inscription on a phase contrast objective - PL stands for positive low, a phase contrast example in which the specimen appears darker than the background of the field of view. NH is less commonly used and it stands for negative high. Negative high is a type of phase contrast where the specimen appears lighter than its background.
  • POL or SF - the microscope objective is strain-free and is required for high quality polarized light microscopy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dry Mount versus Wet Mount Microscope Slides

Preparing microscope slides is not overly complicated and can be performed easily with a bit of knowledge. The two types of microscope slide preparation techniques include dry mount slides and wet mount slides.

Dry Mount Microscope Slides

Dry mount slides require a blank glass microscope slide, a glass cover slip, and a non-moisture based specimen. Examples of dry mount slides include insect legs, flower petals, powders or substances such as grains of sand or dry chemicals, dirt samples and even newsprint.

When preparing a dry mount slide, place the sample between the glass microscope slide and the cover slip. Press down firmly on the cover slip in order to flatten the sample. When using a high power microscope, if the sample is not flat, it will not be fully in focus, especially at higher magnifications.

aphid under the microscope at 100x
Aphid captured at 100x magnification. (Example of a dry mount slide).

Wet Mount Microscope Slides

Wet mount slides are used to view liquids under the microscope. Preparation of a wet mount slide includes a depression slide, a cover slip, and an eye dropper can be useful, but is not required. Wet mount slide samples might include pond water, cheek cells, blood or sperm samples.

When preparing the wet mount slide, place a small drop of the sample between the depression slide and the cover slip. Use a paper towel when pressing the cover slip onto the slide, as some of your sample might run out over the edges. If you want to create a permanent slide, you can line the edges of your cover slip with clear nail polish. This will allow you to permanently affix it to the slide, locking the moisture into the chamber you create between the depression slide and the cover slip. If you make your slide permanent be sure to seal the entire edge of your cover slip so the sample does not evaporate over time.

cheek cells under phase contrast microscope
Cheek cells captured under a phase contrast microscope at 400x. (Example of a wet mount slide).

If your sample requires staining you can learn about the different types of staining and how to stain your microscopy specimens here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Kids Science Microscope Activity: Yeast

This is a fun science project for kids! You will need the following:
  • Place the packet of yeast in the bowl.
  • Add 1 cup warm water and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well.
  • Transfer the liquid to the bottle and place the balloon around the neck of the bottle.
After 10 minutes what to do you notice? Did the balloon start to inflate? This is due to carbon dioxide being released from the yeast.

  • Put a drop of the yeast mixture on your microscope slide.
  • Place a cover slip on top and look at the yeast at several magnifications.
  • Draw an image or capture a picture of the yeast at 400x magnification.
  • Can you see the yeast cells?
yeast under microscope
Yeast cells in young wine. Image courtesy microbiological garden.
Yeast is used to make bread, wine and beer through fermentation. Bread uses sugars in the flour to produce energy, releasing the alcohol ethanol, which evaporates, and bubbles of the gas carbon dioxide, which make the bread rise. Bread yeast is sometimes used to make beer as well. In beer, sugars from the cereals such as barley are used by yeast to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide.

Yeast size varies depending on the type, but typically yeast measure 3-4┬Ám in diameter. Most yeast reproduce asexually by mitosis. And therefore, yeast is an easy substance for scientists to study.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Optic Nerve under the Microscope

The optic nerve transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. The optic nerve's function includes special somatic afferent, which carries the sensory modality of vision.

The images below of the optic nerve were captured using the Richter Optica U2 biological microscope at 400x magnification.

optic nerve under microscope 400x
Optic Nerve under a brightfield microscope.
The images were captured using a 5 mega pixel microscope camera.

Optic Nerve Epi Fluorescence Microscope Image 400x
Optic Nerve captured under epi fluorescent microscope.
The optic nerve prepared slide can be found in the Histology Musculoskeletal slide kit.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Making Measurements with Microscopy Tablet Cameras

Microscope World offers a microscopy tablet LCD camera for viewing live images as well as capturing and saving microscopy images. The tablet camera also allows you to take measurements of samples including a number of different shapes, angles, and lines.

tablet camera on microscope image
Motic BA210 with LCD Tablet
The video below shows how to make measurements using the Android based tablet camera that includes advanced imaging software.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fun Things for Kids to View with Microscopes

There are two types of microscopes: high power biological microscopes and low power stereo dissecting microscopes. This post lists fun items for kids to view with a low power stereo microscope.

A stereo dissecting microscope typically will have light both above and below the stage. This type of microscope is perfect for viewing any type of sample that does not allow light to pass through it. Magnification on a stereo microscope is usually between 10x-40x.

fabric under stereo microscope
Fabrics look very interesting under the microscope!
screw seen under microscope
Hardware under the Microscope
ants under the microscope (image)
Insects (this one is an Ant) under the microscope!
Postage Stamp under stereo microscope
Stamp or newsprint under the microscope

microscope image of cattail
Cattail under the Microscope

flowers under microscope
Flowers under the microscope

coin image under microscope
Coins under the microscope
Have you captured any interesting images under the microscope? We would love to see them - share them on our Facebook page!