Technicians using Upright and Inverted Microscopy

Details and Applications of Upright and Inverted Microscopy

Science as a field has faced major changes from the days of Albert Einstein. We have the science to thank for most technological advances and life hacks in the globe today. Microscopy is an essential aspect of science that has been extended to learning curriculums in different countries. Aside from the schools, major research institutions and self-made scientist rely on microscopes to spearhead most of their lab work. Upright and inverted microscopy are scopes of microscopy that really need to be understood by all students and scientists or lab technicians. Before you go to buy microscope in Singapore for your research, find out below everything you should know concerning the inverted and the upright microscopy scopes.

Inverted Microscopes 

These are normal microscopes however slightly designed to function better with live cell imaging. Knowing its design, you will understand why cells usually move to the bottom to the cover slip. This is aimed at improving adherence in your cell observation and study. Inverted microscopes furthermore provide you with sample access from above for instance in a liquid exchange process or micro-pipettes procedures. Most scientists also enjoy the lack of contact between the sample and the objective when using inverted microscopes for their research. The lack of contact creates sterile working space for the scientists which ultimately improves their findings and results.

Principles of Inverted Microscopes

There are several guidelines that this type of microscope adheres to. For starters, the source of light (transmitted light) and the condenser have to be placed pointing to the stage. All objectives are correspondingly placed on the stage facing the light above them. The cells of the specimen on stage are usually observed via the base of the cell culture vessel. To qualify as an inverted microscope, a microscope needs to have a culture vessel with very high optical features. Here are ways an inverted microscope could be of use to you as a scientist or lab technician. 

Applications of Inverted Microscopes

The main function of this type of microscope is cell imaging. As stated above, cells, in this case, are observed using the bottom or base of the cell culture vessel. This has proven to be advantageous over other types of microscopes in the world today. The cells sink naturally and with no use of suspension cells, they align themselves on a focal plane. The technology also allows for improved sterility during the observation as there exists no contact between the objective and the cell sample being analyzed. Cells also access large medium quantities than when they are sandwiched between cover slips and slides.

Upright Microscopes 

This is the classical microscope that we come across in most labs today. The objective is always above the sample. With the upright microscope, the cells are sandwiched between slides and cover slips unlike in the inverted microscopes. You can only observe fixed samples like tissue sections or cells but not the best microscope for live cell imaging. The upright microscope is a little bit less furnished technologically when compared to the inverted one.

Principles of Upright Microscopes

Here the lighting is placed below stage together with the condenser. Both of them have to be placed while facing up to the stage for improved observing. Objectives are then placed on the stage while pointing to the light and condenser below them. In upright microscopes, the specimens are observed via the petri dish or cover slip and often in most of them, the objective lenses can be dipped into the culture medium without using any cover slips.

Applications of Upright Microscopes

Upright microscopes are mainly identified with phase contrasting, fluorescence microscopy and the microscopy of both fixed cells and tissue sections. Only when dipping the objective lenses into the medium can the upright microscope be used for live imaging although inverted microscopes could do this much better. The system, however, may give less accurate findings due to lower resolution power. This makes it hard to study objectives with high numerical apertures at the bottom of the cover slip where the cells usually adhere.

For your personal and private research whether at home or in the lab, you now know the best microscope to use for your observations. Contact microscope experts to buy microscope in Singapore for your lab work.


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