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Anatomy of the MIC-D Digital Microscope

Section Overview:

Olympus has thrown the doors open to a new era in optical microscopy education with the introduction of the MIC-D inverted digital microscope. Designed specifically for a wide spectrum of applications ranging from basic classroom instruction to more advanced laboratory analysis, this versatile microscope features a palette of contrast enhancing techniques that rival many research-level instruments.

Review Articles

The MIC-D digital microscope incorporates cutting-edge light-emitting diode (LED) solid-state illumination technology in a swivel lamphouse (rotation arm) that also contains a diffusion screen and condenser lens (see Figure 1). This combination of lighting elements enables the microscopist to illuminate the specimen from a variety of off-axis angles and different numerical apertures. Illumination modes include traditional brightfield, oblique, darkfield, and reflected light. The Olympus MIC-D digital microscope should set a standard for future microscopes in the coming years by affording a variety of contrast-enhancing techniques that are unparalleled in competing microscopes of this class.

  • Anatomical Overview

    The Olympus MIC-D digital microscope represents a unique design that incorporates a CMOS electronic digital imaging sensor as a substitute for the traditional eyepieces or oculars found in a majority of microscopes.

  • Electrical and Image Sensor Control System

    Because the Olympus MIC-D digital microscope operates with the assistance of electrical current derived from a host computer, it does not require batteries or an external alternating current power supply.

  • Brightfield Illumination

    Software Interface Online Demonstration
    Transmitted brightfield illumination is one of the most utilized observation modes in optical microscopy, and is ideal for fixed, stained specimens.

  • Oblique Illumination

    In oblique illumination, direct light from the condenser light cone is restricted to a single azimuth, striking the specimen from only one direction rather than bathing it with an even distribution of light.

  • Darkfield Illumination

    Darkfield illumination requires blocking the central light that ordinarily passes through and around the specimen, allowing only oblique rays from every azimuth to "strike" the specimen mounted on a microscope slide.

  • Polarized Illumination

    The Olympus MIC-D microscope can be equipped with a polarizer and analyzer combination in order to view and capture digital images from birefringent anisotropic specimens.

  • Reflected Illumination

    Optical microscopy can be divided into two categories: transmitted light microscopy and reflected light microscopy. The MIC-D digital microscope can easily be configured to capture digital images in reflected light illumination.

Interactive Java Tutorials

  • MIC-D Microscope Focus Mechanism

    The Olympus MIC-D digital microscope is equipped with a knob that enables the operator to focus specimens. Explore lens proximity variations during the focusing operation and how the components work together to achieve focus.

  • Rotation Arm Range of Motion

    In order to obtain a variety of illumination modes, the Olympus MIC-D digital microscope is equipped with a rotation arm that travels through a range of 135 degrees. See the range of motion available with the rotation arm.

  • Image-Forming and Aperture Light Pathways

    Explore both the image forming and aperture light ray pathways through the microscope zoom optical body and how they are affected by changing the position of individual lens elements in this interactive java tutorial.

  • Off-Axis Illumination Transitions

    Explore and learn more about illumination transitions, starting at brightfield, moving through the varying degrees of oblique, and finally reaching darkfield in this featured interactive java tutorial.

  • MIC-D Zoom Lens System

    The MIC-D digital microscope is equipped with a zoom lens system that aids the objective in forming a magnified image of the specimen. Discover the position of the zoom lens elements at various magnification factors in this tutorial.

Contributing Authors

Mortimer Abramowitz - Olympus America, Inc., Two Corporate Center Drive., Melville, New York, 11747.

Kenneth R. Spring - Scientific Consultant, Lusby, Maryland, 20657.

Matthew Parry-Hill, Brian O. Flynn, Kirill I. Tchourioukanov, Thomas J. Fellers and Michael W. Davidson - Olympus America, Inc., Two Corporate Center Drive., Melville, New York, 11747.

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