Fluorescence Microscope

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Frist prototype from URS

Fluorescence microscopy is a technique used to analyze biological structures in a sample using a white lamp, and either organic or inorganic fluorophores such as dyes to excite a photo-emissive reaction, which is observed using an optical bandpass filter and a dichroic mirror. Various biochemical industries rely on fluorescence microscopy for the performance of molecular imaging to support medical diagnostics or research into cellular structures and nanomolecular activity. Delta Optical Thin Film has previously discussed the principles of, and hardware implemented in modern fluorescence microscopy, but this article will explore some of its immediate applications and implications of further study in the field in more detail..

Version 01

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And available now with Chinese translation included! Thanks to I-Chern Lai and Dimension+! Download it here

See the other chapters of Book: Homemade Biological Art

DIY microscopy

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Fluorescence Microscopy for Cell Labeling

Labeling cell structures with fluorophores such as fluorescent dyes drastically increase the observable properties of biological or chemical structures. These can be modified or conjugated to exhibit specific targetability for use in various medical applications. Fluorophores with high specificity are routinely used in medical diagnostics, with increasing research finding further applications for fluorescent cell labeling. For example: researchers have successfully used fluorescence microscopy to track and analyze viral DNA in cells at a local level and further connect that to cellular anti-viral defenses. This has potentially tremendous implications for future viral analysis and categorization.

Fluorescence Microscopy for Protein Characterization Intra-cellular dynamic protein interactions are crucial for a range of critical biological processes, acting as catalysts for metabolic reactions or responding to stimuli. Protein interactions are typically observable using dedicated instrumentation capable of analyzing the samples at the nanometer scale. However, transient interactions of proteins display weaker signals which are typically transparent, even to fluorescence microscopy instrumentation. The implementation of fluorescent protein biosensors is a novel approach to observing weaker protein interactions, which has found broad applications in varying fields of research. Researchers have utilized fluorescent proteins to observe intra-cellular reactions in the hopes of gaining insight into various transmission reactions, by analyzing the specific wavelengths emitted by excited cells during protein synthesis. Such studies have tremendous potential to provide insights into how irregular translations in a cell can result in developmental problems and disease transmission – yet they also require exceptionally sensitive instrumentation and highly tunable chromatic filters to accurately assess data.

dark-field image sequence (4 sec) of an amoebae recorded on a modified webcam
bright-field image sequence (4 sec) of an amoebae recorded on a modified webcam

Webinar on DIY microscopy English / Portuguese


Video Examples

Movie recorded with modified webcams: Hackteria in Berlin

see more on wetPONG


Laser-cut microscopy stages

Laser-cut microscopy stages are here.

SwitchableMag DIY-microscope MaryWard.jpgTaiwanStyle MicroscopeStage.jpg


The Chapter about the DIY microscope can be downloaded here and available now with Chinese translation included! Thanks to I-Chern Lai and Dimension+! Download Chinese


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