Dept. of Life Sciences Trains Students in Cutting Edge Fluorescence Microscopy Techniques

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On October 19, 2015, The School of Life Sciences (SLS) at IUB inaugurated its new fluorescence microscope by arranging for a hands-on training session for both faculty members and students at the SLS Labs.  Technical experts from Technoworth & Associates facilitated this unique and extensive learning experience.  The Carl Zeiss AxioVert A1 microscope is a sophisticated inverted microscope capable of brightfield, phase contrast, and fluorescence microscopy.

Knowing the techniques of fluorescence imaging has become an essential skill for anyone working in modern biological sciences.  There is immense potential to use fluorescence microscopy for research in fields such as biochemistry, microbiology, cell/ molecular biology, stem cell biology, etc.  In the coming months, SLS students will be individually guided on how to use this special microscope and develop high-quality fluorescence and phase contrast images of plant and animal cells – in both living cultures and prepared slides.

During the training, the detailed structure and parts of the microscope as well as the software interface were shown and explained. Afterwards, prepared permanent slides were used to demonstrate how to deal with different types of slides using the different types of microscopy available. Participants were then taught how to capture the images using the software. Subsequently, processing of the images to accentuate certain aspects of the cells was described in detail. The session ended with a demonstration of cutting edge techniques such as video recording of slides and special fluorescence techniques. Finally, a detailed Q/A session was carried out. Participants asked their questions and the experts tried to explicate through lecture and demonstration. Faculty members and students discussed the instrument’s amazing potential for research and began plans for its immediate utilization.

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