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The Fluorescence Microscope

Section Overview:

In fluorescence microscopy, wide variations between localized fluorophore concentrations within the specimen, coupled to differences in extinction coefficient and quantum yield from one fluorochrome to another, significantly influence the emission signal produced for a given quantity of excitation intensity. Considering that many specimens contain only minute quantities of fluorescent material in any particular viewfield, these combined factors produce an average level of fluorescence emission that is four to six orders of magnitude less than the excitation intensity.

Review Articles

  • Anatomy of the Fluorescence Microscope

    Fluorescence microscopes have evolved with speed over the past decade, coupled to equally rapid advances in laser technology, solid-state detectors, interference thin film fabrication, and computer-based image analysis.

  • Fluorescence Microscopy with Transmitted Light

    Discussed in this section are the various aspects of transmitted fluorescence illumination and equipment configurations needed to perform this type of microscopy.

Fluorescence Microscope Schematic Diagrams

  • Olympus BX51 Upright Microscope

    The modern Olympus BX51 Upright epi-fluorescence microscope is equipped with a vertical illuminator that contains a turret of filter cubes and a mercury or xenon arc lamp housing.

  • Olympus IX70 Inverted Microscope

    Microscopes with an inverted-style frame are designed primarily for tissue culture applications and are capable of producing fluorescence illumination through an episcopic and optical pathway.

Interactive Java Tutorials

Contributing Authors

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

Brian Herman - Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78229.

Douglas B. Murphy - Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Microscope Facility, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 725 N. Wolfe Street, 107 WBSB, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.

Matthew Parry-Hill and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.

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