Optical microscope

Optical microscope and light microscope

Nanolive offers a revolutionary microscope for medical imaging. In the field of cell exploration, Nanolive presents a holographic tomographic microscope. This high-tech system is based on laser combined with an algorithm that allows the scanning of the inside of a living cell in 3D, without killing this cell.

This Nanolive’s technology combines the best performances for a complete visual inspection of the cell in 3D and cell analysis, with the greatest comfort. In addition, they have the highest measurement sensitivity and spatial resolution. When speaking about microscopes, there are also other types of microscope still in use, such as optical microscope, also known as light microscope.

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Caracteristics of an optical microscope

Anecdotally, the strength of an optical microscope is based on the use of light-magnifying lens to examine small objects not visible to the naked eye, or objects with finer detail than human eye allows. Optical microscopes have tube at both ends of the lenses. A light microscope is composed of a lens array divided into two groups. The first lens group, directed to the object to be examined, is the focus. It provides an inverted and enlarged real image of an object. This image is not formed on frosted glass, but is somewhere in the optical tube is the intermediate image. The second lens group, directed to the observer’s eye is called the eyepiece; it works as a simple magnifying glass and enlarges the previous image. The total magnification of an optical microscope is equal to the product of the magnification of the lens by the magnification of the eyepiece. In practice, it does not exceed the 1000-time magnification. The essential quality of a light microscope is not its magnification, but its resolving capacity, that is to say its ability to distinguish two points located one next on the other.

Most current optical microscopes consist of a light integrated in their base. A condenser located below the board lenses focus the light on the sample and a membrane controls contrast. After passing through the sample to the observation platform, the light enters a lens. Most light microscopes have three or four objective lenses mounted on a rotatable turret. These lenses can enlarge a cell for 4 to 100 times. Optical microscopes dedicated to in-depth research have a pair of ocular lenses, so that specimen can be seen with both eyes at once.

There are many varieties of optical microscopes depending on their final use. For example, to visualize a fluid-covered tissue culture, biologists use a reversed-light optical microscope, wherein the culture is illuminated by a light over the viewing platform. These microscopes have a phase contrast system to improve contrast in living samples, thus avoiding the use of fixatives and other lethal products. There are also optical polarizing microscope, used for the analysis of crystals and minerals. As for optical fluorescence microscope is used to examine the structures that bind to specific fluorescent dyes.

Light microscopes can produce up to 1200x magnification and resolutions up to about 0.25 micrometers. This means that two objects in a cell can be as close as 0.25 micrometers, and may be detected as two separate objects. This resolution is sufficient to see most organic cells, bacteria and other mitochondria and microvillus specimens. In addition, this resolution helps to produce images with 3D rendering, using the Steve image processing software.

Limitations of an optical microscope

Optical microscopes do not allow the user to see only the cells with lower sizes with the naked eye. Indeed, they allow them to see more hidden details, such as cell internal bodies. With these light microscopes, you can expand your curiosity spirit, and observe cells and their components. Aimed at educational institutions or simply for those who are passionate about cytology, optical microscopes offer a simple and preferred way to engage in microscopy. Simple microscopy means that you just need to insert the blade containing cells to be observed on the microscope platform. Optical microscopes have a lighting system that makes even opaque specimens easily observed. In addition, it is possible to adjust light level to the brightness you need. These microscopes have a very wide angle of vision, and their heads can rotate up to 360°. This means that you will still be able to adopt the most comfortable position for cell observing. Optical microscopes are extremely versatile, providing magnifications well above conventional light microscopes. In addition, it is very easy to change magnification configuration during cell observation. Also, monitoring operation is especially easy, because of the wide field of view provided by the wide-angle eyepieces. The optical microscope platform keeps the slides in a manner so precise that the slides are properly positioned, even at very high magnification. Different color filters are also available, allowing to a further increase of contrast, in order to make the details of cells even clearer.

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