FLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPY

  • Researchers have created a design for a ‘glowscope’, a device that could democratise access to fluorescence microscopy.
  • An optical microscope views an object by studying how it absorbs, reflects or scatters visible light.
  • A fluorescence microscope views an object by studying how it re-emits light that it has absorbed, i.e. how it fluoresces.

The process:

  • The object is illuminated with light of a specific wavelength.
  • Particles in the object absorb this light and re-emit it at a higher wavelength (i.e. different colour).
  • These particles are called fluorophores.
  • When the fluorophores fluoresce, a fluorescent microscope can track them as they move inside the object, revealing the object’s internal shape and other characteristics.

Uses and applications:

  • To identify and study different entities, from specific parts of the DNA to protein complexes.
  • Helps identify cells and sub-microscopic cellular components with accuracy and details.
  • In the field of histochemistry to detect particles such as neurotransmitter amines which cannot be seen by conventional microscopes.
  • It is used in food chemistry to assess the presence, structural organization and spatial distribution of specific food components in a product. 

Fluorescence Speckle Microscopy:

  • It is a technology that uses fluorescence labeled macromolecular assemblies such as cytoskeletal protein to study movement and turnover rates.
  • Fluorescence microscopy staining also is helpful in the field of mineralogical applications.
  • It is also widely used in the textile industry to analyze fiber dimensions.
  • Epifluorescence microscopy helps to study the fiber-based materials including paper and textiles.
  • It is ideal for studies of porosity in ceramics, using a fluorescent dye.
  • It is also applicable to studies of semiconductors.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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