A Brief Guide — How to Care for a Microscope

The right care needs to be provided for a microscope in order for it to work the way it is supposed to. If you neglect your microscope, you will be neglecting an investment. Think about the amount of money that would go into purchasing a 3D laser scanning confocal microscope, after spending such huge sums of money, you cannot just leave it to collect dirt.

 

But whether you have a simple school laboratory microscope or you have the latest 3D laser scanning confocal microscope, you need to maintain it. But what do maintenance and cleaning involve? Let us take a look.

 

The Sources of Dust and Dirt

 

It is almost impossible to keep the microscope dirt free. Dust is usually in the air and eventually, it settles on objects around it. If it is left for long without use, it is more than likely going to get carpeted in dust. At times also dirt can be introduced by the people using the microscope. Hands, eyes, and nose can all be culprits smearing dirt on different surfaces.
Some areas will need critical attention because of their exposure to a lot of dust. These include:

 

  • The camera adapter optics, particular the exposed surface
  • All glass surfaces that include the filters, lenses, and lamps
  • The slide
  • The exposed surface of the object lens
  • Coverslip
  • The upper lens condenser

 

Caring for the Lens

 

The lens needs to be kept as clean as possible because any dirt or foreign substance on the lens is going to affect the clarity of the sample. It could either make it hard to see what is there because the image is distorted or you could mistake it for part of the sample. This means before you use the microscope, you need to check the optical lens for dirt and other foreign substances that will result in optical noise.

 

It is a good practice to clean the lens before applying immersion fluid as well as after using the microscope. Embedding media can attach itself to the lens anytime so cleaning as often as possible is a good idea.
The immersion media might be useful to ensure a clear view, but at the same time, it can contribute to loss of clarity if it is not properly cleaned off after use. Do not store the lens with the liquid still on them.

 

If you have digital cameras as well, there is more need for maintenance since they are susceptible to degradation of picture quality if the right care is not provided regularly. The image sensor and filters can be contaminated to the extent that they will display the foreign contaminants in the sample image. It is not just important to clean the lens, but also to try and prevent as much contamination from occurring. Keeping them in the right protective gear can help to do that.

 

It is also necessary to read the manufacturer’s manual to find out other care suggestions to ensure that the lens are clean and safe.

All You Need to Know about Microscope Stages

The specimen is usually placed on the microscope XY stage for observation purposes. The stage has a mechanical device that holds the slide of the specimen in place. This allows the forward and backward movement of the slide. A microscope stage is usually categorized according to functionality and design.

 

The microscope XY stage has a locking control which enables the stage to be stable in its position regardless of its rotation. Graduated locator symbols found at the stage’s mechanical portion are used to permit the microscopist to write down the important details of the specimen’s location. This enables one to easily return to the place for photomicrography or additional observation.

 

Today, microscope stages are very durable and precisely manufactured. This is because they are made from quality materials. Translation mechanisms are machined from brass, aluminum, and other recent synthetic polymers. Synthetic gear devices are less durable compared to metal counterparts.

 

Therefore, such devices should be tightened, cleaned, and lubricated to allow adjustments in the years to come. Many stages are usually protected by a tough ceramic coating which resists scratches and marks. The dull surface is important for preventing stray light reflection from the stage into the objective. The following are some microscope stages:

 

Specialized Stage

 

Various types of microscope stages are designed to perform specific purposes. They include stages having auxiliary equipment handling different samples during universal stages, observation, and measuring systems. Measuring systems usually allow specific measurements to be calculated over small distances. The universal stage is responsible for the calculation of measurements over numerous specimen angles.

 

Inverted Stage

 

The design in which the inverted microscopes appear is usually different from the upright microscope. The inverted microscopes have their objectives positioned beneath the stage and use various condenser configurations for the illumination of the specimen. Tissue microscopes usually acquire a condenser which is mounted beyond the stage. Epi-illumination microscopes usually contain a substage condenser which precedes the goals and objectives.

 

Tissue culture microscopes usually require researchers to scan huge culture flasks to allow observation of the whole population of cells. This is often possible if the stage insert contains a huge opening. When large specimens are about to be observed, large openings are used to maintain samples for observation.

 

Inverted microscope stages cannot be translated downwards or upwards but focusing can only be achieved by the use of a translatable nosepiece that moves downwards and upwards with the objectives.

 

Micromanipulators

 

Manipulation is very important when the specimen is undergoing observation with the microscope. This is usually the case with vitro and tissue culture fertilization experiments and genetic implantation events. These experiments are usually manipulated because a close observation of the specimen is required and necessary throughout the experiment.

 

Measuring Systems of High-Magnification Specimen

 

Quantitative microscopy usually requires very accurate measurements of different specimen dimensions. These comprise measurements of semiconductors, minute electronic modules, highly accurate magnetic heads, and small precision parts.

 

Universal Stage

 

This type of microscope stage is one that usually permits the tilting of a tiny specimen at various angles for the measurement of the visual structure of a birefringent crystal.

 

The rapid evolution of the semiconductor arena has brought about the manufacture and design of numerous stages that are utilized to manipulate and examine incorporated circuit wafers. Scientists have built and designed custom stages for experiments containing materials research, biomedical investigations, geology, and cell manipulation.

Infographic: Tips To Maintain A Microscope

Microscopes are widely used by researchers for viewing objects like viruses and bacteria. To make sure that your microscope is in perfect working condition, you need to take good care of it. When you carry the microscope, hold it from the base and metal support arm. A microscope’s stage is a flat plate on which slides are positioned for observation. Ensure that you don’t pick up the microscope by the stage or bino/trino tube since it can cause misalignment.

 

When you use a microscope, lower the objective lens while changing samples of different thickness. Ensure that your samples don’t touch the objective lens since the lens can be damaged. Clean the lens daily if it is in contact with solvents like immersion oil. Smudge it with IPA, before lightly swapping it with 70% ethanol and lens cleaning paper. Once you start following all these steps, your microscope in Singapore will perform faultlessly for years together.

 

Tips To Maintain A Microscope

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All You Need to Know about the Confocal Microscope

 

You might have heard the term 3D laser scanning confocal microscope. Also, when looking for microscopes you might have come across the words — high resolution and speed, 3D confocal images among others. But wait, what does the word “confocal” indicate and what is the microscopic system involved? And, how can it be applied whether you are into bioengineering, cell biology, or other related sectors? Well, read on to know more about the confocal microscope.

 

So What is Confocal?

 

Confocal” is described as “holding the identical focus.” What this implies in the microscope world is that the ultimate image has an identical focus or the focus resembles the point of focus in the target. The object and its final image are “confocal.” The modern-day confocal microscope can drain out the out-of-focus light from below and above the point-of-focus in the object. Usually, when an object or specimen is imaged in the conventional fluorescence or other forms of the microscope, the signal created is from the entire thickness of the object which does not let most of it be in focus to the beholder. On the contrary, the confocal microscope gets rid of this out-of-focus data through a confocal “pinhole” located in the foreground of the image plane which serves as a spatial filter and lets only the in-focus part of the light to be imaged. Hence, light from below and above the plane of focus of the specimen is excluded from the image.

 

Two Unique Elements that Come into Play

 

While the final image that is observed with a confocal microscope is all in-focus data, this generates another issue. In comparison to the conventional microscope, the quantity of light that is observed in the ultimate image is considerably decreased by the pinhole, generally up to 90%. To counterbalance for this lack of light, two unique elements have been included into modern day confocal microscopes. First of all, lasers are utilized as light sources in place of the traditional mercury arc lights since they offer notably bright light at very precise wavelengths for fluorochrome excitation. Secondly, extremely sensitive photomultiplier-detectors (PMTs) are engaged as imaging agents to pick up the diminished signal. The signal for detection in the modern-day confocal microscopes is generated by considering a concentrated laser beam over a square or rectangular range. A system of scanner mirrors sequentially examines a horizontal beam across the object.

 

The Role of Computer Imaging

 

The third aspect that is fused into the confocal microscope is the latest microcomputer. It is accessed to command the scanner mirrors and the focusing system along with collect, save, and scrutinize the data. It can be saved in the form of digital pictures which may be seen on a computer monitor or it can be transferred to a hardcopy output device like a printer.

 

Computer imaging is an altogether different technology than direct photographic imaging. The computer allows the device to scan subsequent planes in the intended direction, save them, and build overlays of all the sections. This data can also be utilized to produce 3D images of the specimens. This gives you a complete view of the object on a microscopic scale in ways you have never imagined before. You can consider 3D laser scanning confocal microscope from a reputable supplier to achieve the best results.

A Guide to Choosing Fiber Optic Spectrometer

Here is a guide to inform you of the factors to consider before purchasing a fiber optic spectrometer.

 

When doing experiments that require configuration of a spectrometer, the steps of choosing a fiber optic is often overlooked. Different factors are there to be considered before choosing a fiber optic spectrometer. Some of the considerations involve different parts of the cable. Considering factors relating to the diameter of the core and absorption are tackled afterward in this article. First of all, let us take a look at the working principle of fiber optic cables and the techniques it uses to transfer data from one point to the other.

 

Fiber Optic – What is it?

 

As others consider it as a ‘light pipe’ a fiber optic cable can be defined as a physical data transmission medium that carries data packages in the form of light signals from one place to the other. The cables guide light through the core in the inner side which is comprised of a spectrum that conducts internal reflection.

 

Factors to Consider

 

What are the factors to consider when selecting a fiber optic cable? Here are some of the considerations that should ring in your mind when you are selecting the best cable to use for transmission.

 

Diameter of the Core

 

In a fiber optic cable, all the light to be transmitted is collected in the core. This means that the diameter of the core determines the number of light signals that can be transmitted through the cable at a time. However, the larger the core the more sensitive is the cable to electromagnetic noise which may lead to distortion of the data under the transmission. The pixel height of the detector should be the first consideration. The lenses are used to focus the image on the array along the axis without distorting its contents. This leads to light being directed to the pixel hence increasing the sensitivity of the setup.

 

Absorption

 

This is also one of the important features you are supposed to consider when choosing a fiber optic cable. In case the fiber absorbs the light, it won’t be detected by the spectrometer. In the manufacturing of the cables, OH ions are doped into the glass using plasma torches which softens the bulbs for easy drawing into fibers. Absorption is created by the presence of these ions which in turn interferes with the measurements of the broadband in the affected region.

 

However, the ultraviolet spectrum also has severe properties of absorption. Solarization, a photochemical effect in the ultraviolet spectrum causes the absorption. The effect worsens over time as the spectrum is exposed to factors below 290nm. Due to such reasons, you are advised to be keen and pay special attention when selecting a fiber optic cable for a special purpose transmission. An extra tip — it is best if you choose the lowest OH when you are operating the NIR spectra. However, if you work in almost UV spectral length, use standard fiber optics which is commonly referred to as UV fiber. When you choose a fiber optic spectrometer put into consideration the factors named above in order to choose the best one for your needs.

Beat The Hassles By Having A Replaceable-Slit Spectrometer

The critical role of the spectrometer slit to the performance of the instrument makes it a factor that must be considered when making a purchase, and now with replaceable-slit models, all needs are catered for easily.

Spectroscopy is a highly demanding field of research, and when looking to purchase instruments for different applications, it is essential to have lots of interests in the details. The spectrometer is the hallmark instrument which is a must-have for all applications in the field and purchasing one should be backed with the guarantee of quality. This often involves taking great interests on the brand or manufacturer that released the model and its specifications which must be able to meet and exceed expectations. A focus on the manufacturer is typically to have the confidence of a product that will be able to perform for longer with no limitations arising from its design.

While considering the spectrometer specifications, the slit is one of the determining factors as to the performance to be expected from the instrument. This is primarily because it determines the amount of light that gets into the spectrometer for processing and optical performance. In general, a wider slit increases the amount of light which reaches the optical bench, but this is always at the expense of the optical resolution. The vice versa is also true as a smaller slit decreases the amount of light that it allows through but will always give higher optical resolutions.
It is, therefore, a tough balance to maintain when considering the slit as every scientist always wants a spectrometer that will enable them to have the best results from every application. The problem is that from time to time different applications often require slits of different sizes and resolutions. This has for long necessitated a lot of professionals and organizations to invest in several spectrometers because of one single aspect which is the slit.

Times have however, and now no one ever needs to incur the costs of purchasing several instruments because of the spectrometer slit when there is an all-in-one solution. Avantes has taken the pains of developing a special model which provides users with the freedom to quickly change the slit depending on the current application. For many scientists, this is a dream come true as they get to have the best of both worlds in a single product. The first advantage is the confidence of using a product from a leading manufacturer that is famous for its top-class solutions. There is an equal gain in having ease in switching from one slit to the other without having to invest in another instrument.

The simplicity of replacing the slits is impressive as all it takes is using a screwdriver to remove the current slit and replacing it with another of choice. A slit set comes complete with all the standard slits of 25, 50, 100 and 200 μm which are used in most applications. No recalibration is required when making the changes as the spectrometers are built with high-precision slit positioning. This makes the slit-replaceable option a perfect solution which can be embraced for all spectroscopy solutions.

The Winning Attributes For The Scanning Confocal Microscopes

Scientists stand to find great value from the all-powerful 3D laser scanning confocal microscope which is breaking the limitations of imaging and is a must-have for a wide range of applications.

 

The ever-rising demand for advanced imaging solutions has resulted in the constant pursuit of a solution that will fill the gap in the scientific research field. Fortunately, the continually advancing technology which has been adopted in the industry has resulted in the ready availability of solutions which simplify day to day activities. A stiff neck competition by manufacturers and the high standards set by researchers have been the driving pillars which have redefined the solutions available in the market.

 

When it comes to imaging solutions, the 3D laser scanning confocal microscope is defying limits and bringing to hand endless possibilities. The super powerful microscope is everything that the research community desires and provides users with enhanced capabilities which include;

 

Improved confocal imaging resolution

 

A defining characteristic of the advanced microscopy solution is its high-resolution confocal imaging abilities. The microscope brings imaging to life thanks to its enhanced capabilities which are simply outstanding. By using a system of robust algorithms and GPU-based processing, there is no guesswork when it comes to de-convolution analysis.

 

Ultra-fast imaging

 

High-speed imaging abilities complement the top of the line confocal imaging resolutions of the microscope. Using either a resonant or Galvano scanner the microscope is able to achieve high frequencies which support the ultrafast image acquisition. Models which use the resonant scanner, in particular, are famous for producing the world’s fastest image acquisition as they are able to achieve a resonance frequency of 7.8 kHz. All this is complemented by a larger field of view which allows for the capturing of more details while maintaining top class image quality.

 

Advanced GaAsP Multi-Detector unit

 

Compared to a regular PMT, the GaAsP multidetector unit in confocal microscopes has far much better sensitivity which makes it possible for the acquisition of brighter signals even under weak fluorescence. An extra plus for the GaAsP PMT’s is they support all these functions with minimal background noise.

 

Real-time unmixing during image acquisition

 

The superior algorithms and superfast speeds of data processing by 3D laser scanning confocal microscopes enable for accurate spectral unmixing. This is made possible through the elimination of auto-fluorescence and separation of overlapping fluorescence spectra.

 

V-Filtering Function

 

There are different channels across different spectral ranges that can easily be selected to suit the spectrum of the fluorescence probe in use. Within each spectral range, filter-less intensity adjustment is supported which enhances the clarity of the super-resolution images.

 

 Ease of use

 

The inclusion of user-centered software takes away a lot of guesswork when using the confocal microscope as it allows for integrated control through a more straightforward interface. All it takes to use the software is to have a control computer which meets the specifications which are clearly stated for all models. Since a confocal microscope has superior imaging capacities, they can be used for a whole line of applications including cell biology, biophysics, cardiovascular research, stem cell & regenerative medicine, neuroscience, and Ophthalmology among other research fields.

What you should know about Raman Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is the study of interactions between atoms and molecules and an electromagnetic spectrum. It’s applied as a means of identifying and collecting data about various atoms and molecules. If you’re interested in this field, getting more information before opting for the best Raman microscope price in the market can ensure you make a quality purchase.

Microscopy has grown in leaps and bounds since its invention, with a variety of other analytical branches emerging from this field of practice. One of the more popular methods of investigation used in physical and analytical chemistry is spectroscopy. This is the study of the interactivity between matter and an electromagnetic spectrum. Different molecules and atoms emit and absorb light at certain wavelengths. By studying these wavelengths, you can identify the contents of a molecule using an established spectrum.

Raman spectroscopy has emerged as the most common application used in this field. Its non-destructive approach ensures that the molecular structure of the content being studied is not destroyed during the process. These spectroscopy systems can be combined with suitable microscopes to explore a variety of elements. Acquiring more information about these instruments however is crucial if you’re considering its purchase. Getting the best Raman microscope price is only fruitful if the device chosen is suitable for your needs.

How Raman Spectroscopy Works

Raman spectroscopy is used to obtain quality information about an atom or molecule, including its chemical structure, crystallinity, phase, and polymorphy, among other elements. This data is acquired by studying the interactions that take place between light and the chemical bonds found in a substance. The approach is based on a light scattering technique, whereby a molecule is exposed to a high-intensity laser light source from which it scatters incident light.

Most of the light that is scattered during this process is on the same wavelength as the laser light source and is known as Rayleigh scatter. A minimal amount, however, is also dispersed at different wavelengths than the light source. The particular color or wavelength involved with this scatter can help you identify the chemical structure of a substance. This unique scatter is what is known as Raman scatter.

Benefits of Using Raman Spectroscopy

Those who choose to use this application for their analysis requirements can enjoy a variety of advantages, including:

  •    No sample preparation activities are required when using this method, making the entire process shorter than some alternatives.
  •    The results enjoyed with this analysis are highly accurate, as the Raman scatter of a particular molecule can be seen as its chemical fingerprint.
  •    It can be used for long-distance or remote analysis since the laser and scattered light can be transmitted through optical fibers.
  •    Raman analysis works with a variety of substances, including vapors, liquids, and solids.
  •    Unlike some other sensitive means of investigation, Raman analysis is not affected by the presence of water.

Where you choose to buy your spectroscopy system can also play a significant role in the quality you will enjoy with the purchase. It’s crucial to ensure that the provider chosen represents an authentic and reliable distributor. Selecting an established company in this sector for your particular needs enhances your chances of acquiring quality products.

Top Quality and Affordable Solutions for Spectroscopy

The importance of fiber optic spectrometer for scientific applications calls for the necessity of purchasing approved models that will meet all operational requirements.
 
Spectroscopy applications are highly demanding calling for researchers, scientists, and industrialists to go the extra mile and seek top of the line equipment to ease their applications. Primarily, the intent of optical spectroscopy is the measurement of light intensity in NIS, IR, UV, and VIS regions. Increasingly, a large number of applications are dependent on the measurements both within and out of the laboratory. On the larger scale, researchers in photonics and the medical industry have been the top gainers as the niche field advances as time goes by.
 
The general assumption for most people is that for the research and scientific industry, the standards set to dictate each field has resulted in the production of equipment with almost similar working potentials. This could not be further from the truth as different manufacturers and brands utilize their in-house technical and engineering foundation for the productions. As a result, the market is today flooded with thousands of different models with each claiming to offer superior results for the intended application. It has become worse with the rise of model imitations and profit-hungry suppliers who have no limitations when it comes to lack of integrity and business ethics.
 
It, therefore, takes in-depth knowledge and readiness for due-diligence for anyone after laboratory and research equipment especially for demanding applications such as spectroscopy. In the search for a fiber optic spectrometer, the first point of focus must always be on the manufacturer or brand which is a primary determinant of capabilities to expect. Brands that have proved the undying dedication to improving the operational standards for spectroscopy such as Avantes, take away any gambles from the entire process. This is because the manufacturer has spent decades progressively building on their past models and adjusting to the current demands from the science community.
 
Once the manufacturer factor has been taken to account, the next point of emphasis is on the technical specifications of the spectrometer. Even leading manufacturers develop different models to suit all market requirements which translate to the fact there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Every spectrometer model is designed to suit specific applications with the specifications being the limiting factor to the extent to which a study can be conducted. The core areas to be considered are the grating, slit, and detector which must suit the intended purposes.
 
A final aspect that is never to be ignored is the local supplier one relies on for the completion and delivery of an order. The growth of online shopping has come with its fair share of disadvantages which one must always avoid at all costs. For important purchases such as a spectrometer, the odds are raised and for the avoidance of any potential problems the best option is a registered and certified laboratory equipment supplier. The supplier should have a focus on the niche filed which is spectroscopy and have the professional capacity to respond to all questions and concern. Market reviews and customer service are extra factors to take into account when looking for high-end scientific research solutions.

All you need to Know about a Handheld Raman Spectrometer

A handheld Raman spectrometer is a portable device that is used to identify the material makeup of products with the simple touch of a button.
 

Environments requiring easy and accurate identification methods regarding the materials they come across can purchase a handheld Raman spectrometer. This portable device allows for various onsite applications with relatively simple instructions featured regarding its operation. One simply has to point the device towards the material they want identified and press a button to begin the procedure.
 

How Does the Raman Spectrometer Work?
 

The handheld Raman spectrometer is a portable device with a size similar to a cell phone and weighing about three pounds. It comes with a rechargeable battery that can last up to four hours on the field negating the need for an additional power source. Its software is controlled by a miniature windows operating system that contains the ID-find™ software implemented in the identification process.
 

The material verification procedure features the use of a laser that is emitted from the device’s pointer and directed towards the intended subject. A majority of substances emit a specific light when a laser is shone towards them, and this is known as the Raman scatter effect. This reaction allows the device to identify the unique molecular structure of a substance via comparison on a preset database in its system.
 

Why Use the Raman Spectrometer?
 

The handheld Raman spectrometer is implemented in a variety of settings, including the provision of additional security measures and chemical identification. This device has simplified the process required for such verification as it does not need contact with the material inspected. The device’s operating system can also pull up relevant data regarding the information acquired in a matter of seconds.
 

The application of laser illumination techniques also means that this process is applicable via transparent packaging such as plastic or glass. Thus delicate products do not have to be unnecessarily exposed to the environment during material verification. Its portability also adds the benefit of enhanced flexibility when working the Portable-PinPointer™.
 

The extensive database provided within the operating system also means that a user does not have to retain any chemical knowledge to operate the device. Once the pointer has been directed towards the subject, it will compare the information received with a collection of numerous other results in its database. Once it finds a matching solution, the results will then be transmitted to the user, limiting the overall amount of work involved on their part.
 

Chemical Databases
 

Individuals who purchase this product from a reliable provider will also enjoy an additional database containing thousands of chemical comparisons already set into the system. Clients who work in a unique environment and do not come across regular comparisons can purchase specialized databases as well. Those who would rather customize the collection process on their own can scan known elements and input the spectra into the system.
 

The chemical spectra scanned when creating a customized database is an important issue to consider as it can affect the accuracy of one’s operations. Saving the wrong information about a spectrum, for example, will lead to the delivery of inaccurate results in the future.