Fluorescence Microscopy

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    • Researchers at Winona State University, Minnesota, have created a design for a rudimentary Fluorescence Microscope.

    What is Fluorescence Microscopy?

    • An optical microscope views an object by studying how it absorbs, reflects or scatters visible light. 
    • A fluorescence microscope views an object by studying how it reemits light that it has absorbed, i.e. how it fluoresces. This is its basic principle.

    Working

    • The object is illuminated with light of a specific wavelength. Particles in the object absorb this light and reemit it at a higher wavelength (i.e. different colour). These particles are called fluorophores; the object is infused with them before being placed under the microscope.
    • Different fluorophores are used to identify and study different microscopic entities.
    • There are versions of fluorescent microscopes with more sophisticated abilities, such as epifluorescence and confocal laser-scanning microscopes.

    Application

    • When the fluorophores fluorescence, a fluorescent microscope can track them as they move inside the object, revealing the object’s internal shape and other characteristics. 
    • Through this, scientists have developed different fluorophores to identify and study different entities, from specific parts of DNA to protein complexes. On the flip side, fluorescence microscopes cost at least a lakh rupees, but often up to crores.
    • With this setup, the researchers were able to image the creatures’ brain, spinal cord, heart, and head and jaw bones.
    • They were able to zoom in and out using the smartphone camera and the clip-on lens.

    Source: TH