Stereomicroscopy | Stereomicroscopy
Key Words: darkfield, diascopic, Stereomicroscopy, illumination: episcopic, oblique, fluorescence. GFP illuminators, SMZ range
Definition:A microscope equipped for stereoscopic viewing - i.e. a microscope with two eye pieces
Stereomicroscopes are used to examine specimens under both reflected (episcopic) and transmitted (diascopic) light. Often transmitted and reflected light sources are combined to take advantage of particular specimen features to best reveal its characteristics.
There are three main techniques for the stereoscopic illumination of specimens:
- Oblique Illumination - useful for specimens that are nearly transparent or colorless, where regular brightfield illumination is insufficient. Greater contrast and visual clarity can be achieved with illumination directed from a single source which strikes the specimen at an oblique angle.
- Darkfield Illumination -requires a specialized stand containing a reflection mirror and light shielding plate, these act to direct an inverted hollow cone of light, at oblique angles towards the specimen. The principles behind darkfield illumination are similar in stereomicroscopy as regular compound microscopes.
- Fluorescence Illumination - With applications in both biological and industrial work, stereomicroscopes are used widely in GFP observation and are known as GFP illuminators.
Stereomicroscopes are used for three dimensional imaging where the perception of depth and contrast is critical to the interpretation of specimen structure. The wide field of view and variable magnification of stereomicroscopes lend them for application in both industrial assembly and in biological research for the manipulation of delicate and sensitive living organisms.
Stereomicroscopy with GFP illumination allows for the study of large specimens. The combination of the fluorescent illumination and the stereoscopic vision, with added features of a large field of view, allows for experiments to be conducted with forceps, pipettes or micromanipulators.
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