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Choosing the Best Microscopy Solution for Your Lab

Things to think about when buying a microscope

by Lab Manager
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Choosing the Best Microscopy Solution for Your Lab

Maintenance Tip: Microscopy

You should always consult your user’s manual when looking after your specific microscope as different models have different requirements, however keeping the eyepieces clean is important for most any type. When cleaning eyepieces, you should use moistened lens paper rather than anything abrasive, then dry the glass with a dry piece of lens paper. If you’re worried about any leftover dust once you’re finished, you can use an aspirator to remove it.

How will the amount of time the microscope is used per day influence which microscope should be purchased?

Staring through a microscope for an extended amount of time can cause an undesirable amount of strain for the researcher. To alleviate this common issue, many manufacturers have begun producing digital microscopes. These microscopes transfer the image to either a computer or built-in monitor which allows researchers to have a high-definition image of the sample without the strain associated with looking through monocular or binocular lenses.

How does sample type affect which type of microscope is ideal?

With optical microscopes, the size of the sample being visualized will have a major effect on microscope type. If you are looking at very small objects, such as blood samples, cells, and bacteria, then a compound microscope would be ideal. Alternatively, for larger samples such as insects, rocks, and leaves, a stereo microscope is best. Other considerations include proper staging, lighting, and illumination type.

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How will increased magnification requirements affect which microscope is the best fit for the purposes of the laboratory?

The magnification demands of the process being performed can have a significant impact on the purchasing process. Many microscopes can have changeable eyepieces with different magnification settings. However, it is the objective lens of a microscope which rules the quality of the resolution. Increasing the magnification of the eyepiece will have little or no effect if the resolution of the objective lens is poor. Making sure the microscope to be purchased has a high quality objective lens will ensure that the images seen through the microscope are also high quality.

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