Phase Contrast Microscopes

The versatility and importance of phase contrast microscopes can never be overstated because they're commonly used to monitor environmental air pollution in cases where mold spore and asbestos identifications are needed. Phase microscopes are also invaluable in the life-saving fields of molecular and cellular biology research and clinical and medical diagnosis of health conditions.

Phase contrast light microscopes allow translucent or transparent specimens like live cells, cell cultures, and tissues to be seen easily without using stains. The phase-contrast effect that these microscopes feature is achieved by superimposing a circular phase annulus located in the substage microscope condenser, with a corresponding circular phase ring located in the back focal plane of the objective lens. Specimens subjected to phase contrast illumination often appear to be surrounded by halos. If the phase contrast microscope is used with plain white light, the specimens will appear against a gray background, but if a green filter is used in the light's path, they will appear against a green background.

Simple phase contrast light microscopes include 10x and 40x phase objectives and a pre-centered phase slider. Fully equipped phase microscopes include a full complement of phase objectives, including 10x, 20x, 40x, and 100x, as well as a centering phase telescope. The fully equipped phase contrast light microscopes also feature a Zernike Condenser. There are many phase contrast microscope uses. To choose the right type of phase microscope from your application, gauge your environment's needs.

Biological applications of phase contrast microscopes include:

  • Molecular and cellular biology research
  • Clinical and medical diagnosis of health conditions
  • Live blood cell analysis
  • Microbiological research such as virology, bacteriology, and parasitology
  • Plant and animal cells in marine biology
  • Dust mite control
  • Paleontology
  • Wastewater management

Phase microscopes can also be used for industrial and chemical applications such as:

  • Mineralogy
  • Crystallography
  • Polymer morphology investigations
  • Study of glass fragments
  • Scrutinization of commercial products like clays, fats, oils, soaps, paints, pigments, foods, drugs, and textiles
  • Analysis of fibers and mineral fibers
  • Environmental air pollution monitoring

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