FLUORESCENCE MISCROSCOPY

For Latest Updates, Current Affairs & Knowledgeable Content.

FLUORESCENCE MISCROSCOPY

WHY IN NEWS?

  • Recently, researchers at the Winona State University, Minnesota, have created a design for a ‘glowscope’.

WHAT IS GLOWSCOPE?

  • It is a device that could democratise the access to fluorescence microscopy.
  • Glowscopes may be suitable for some research applications.
  • Its development was to meet the needs of science educators and outreach programs.

WHAT IS FLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPY?

  • It is an optical microscope that 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.
  • There are versions of fluorescent microscopes with more sophisticated abilities, such as epifluorescence and confocal laser-scanning microscopes.
  • Fluorescence microscopes range in cost from several thousand to several hundred thousand US dollars.

FUNCTIONING OF FLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPY

  • The object is illuminated with light of a specific wavelength.
  • Particles in the object absorb this light and re­emit 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.

USE OF FLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPY IN BIOTECHNOLOGY

  • A fluorophore called the Hoechst stain binds to the DNA and is excited by ultraviolet light.
  • So, a tissue sample collected from a person could be injected with the Hoechst stain and placed under a fluorescent microscope.
  • When the sample is illuminated by ultraviolet light, the stain absorbs the light and re­emits it at a higher wavelength.
  • The microscope will point out where this is happening: in the nuclei of cells, where DNA is located.
  • This way, the nuclei in the tissue can be labelled for further study.
  • Scientists have developed different fluorophores to identify and study different entities, from specific parts of the DNA to protein complexes.

BENEFITS OF GLOWSCOPE

  • The researchers were able to image the creatures’ brain, spinal cord (using a fluorophore called DsRed), heart (mCherry), and head and jaw bones (mRFP).

  • They were able to zoom in and out using the smartphone camera and the clip-on lens, and by adjusting the distance between the sample and the smartphone platforms.
  • To detect green and red fluorophores and to monitor and detect changes to heart rate and rhythmicity in embryonic zebrafish.

FUNCTIONING OF GLOWSCOPES

  • Their set­up consists of two plexiglass surfaces, an LED flashlight, three theatre stage-lighting filters, a clip-on macro lens, and a smartphone.
  • The smartphone (with the lens attached) is placed on one surface that is suspended at a height (say, a foot above).
  • The second sheet is placed below and holds the object.
  • One of the stage-lighting filters was held between the flashlight and the object and the other two were held between the object and the smartphone.

  • The role of these filters was to ensure that light of the right frequency reached the object and that fluoresced light of a suitable frequency reached the camera.

CHALLENGES IN THE USE OF GLOWSCOPE

  • The total estimated cost of set­up used to obtain these microscopes range in cost from several thousand to several hundred thousand US dollars.
  • Such huge cost can prevent many individuals in India to get access to latest technological interventions.
  • Using a ‘glowscope’ still requires access to fluorophores, suitable biological samples, the know­how to combine the two, and some knowledge of physics to work out which LED flashlight to buy.

WAY FORWARD

  • Instead of being entirely out of reach, researchers can prepare samples from fluorescent microscope, which can be set up with a few thousand rupees and then take them to schools where students can observe them using glowscope.
  • The Foldscope was truly remarkable because all its required components were simple to understand.
  • Researchers and students in resource­ poor labs can also use foldscopes and ‘glowscopes’ together to learn more about the microscopic affairs.

SOURCE : THE HINDU

SYLLABUS : MAINS, GS-3, SCIENCE&TECHNOLOGY

Any Doubts ? Connect With Us.

Join Our Channels

For Latest Updates & Daily Current Affairs

Related Links

Connect With US Socially

Request Callback

Fill out the form, and we will be in touch shortly.

Live result upsc 2023

Latest Result 2023 is live

UPSC CSE Topper Result 2023

Call Now Button