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Laboratory Equipment Blog

  1. Microscope Basics
    April 29, 2013
    Microscopes are a standard laboratory tool, but purchasing the right microscope for a particular application can be a challenge. First, consider how you will use the instrument. Are you looking at slides, dissecting a small animal or performing a surgery? (The application dictates the necessary working distance and power of magnification.) What kind of a stand will you be using? (Boom stand, articulating arm or post stand) Will the microscope be used in a classroom setting? (A trinocular scope offers the option of including a camera.) Will you need a camera?
  2. Understanding Microscope Objectives
    April 29, 2013
    NOTE: For an introduction to microscopes, see Microscope Basics. A variety of microscope objectives are available. All objectives use lenses to focus light. Light is broken down into various wavelengths (colors) as it travels through a lens. The various wavelengths have different focal points. That means that red, green and blue appears to focus at different points. This is called chromatic aberration. Spherical aberrations are focal mismatches caused by the shape of the lens. Quality lenses are designed correct for chromatic and spherical aberration to bring the primary colors to a common focal point. These terms may help you determine the best objective for your application: Achromatic objectives–This objective brings red and blue light to a common focus, and is corrected for spherical aberrations for green. It is excellent for black and white viewing. If an objective i
  3. Choosing a Microscope Camera
    April 29, 2013
    Types It is common for a researcher to attach a camera to a microscope. Three types of cameras are available, and two are suitable for microscopy work: Television (Direct video) 4:3 old style video, NTSC, PAL, 480i 16:9 HDTV (DVI 1.0 compliant), 720P Computer capture USB connection Firewire connection Commercial cameras Fixed lens cameras SLR cameras First, determine what you want to do: Capture images View live video The cameras that do both are more expensive. Lower cost options capable of live view and image capture usually are capable of capturing fewer frames per second. Television Style Cameras Television style cameras send live video images to a television set. They can use the old 4:3 (boxy) format or the new 16:9 cinematic format. These cameras do not come
  4. Adjusting a Microscope
    April 29, 2013
    These instructions describe how to properly focus a binocular microscope. Turn on the lamp and adjust its intensity. Adjust the interpupilary distance so that the two circles of light merge into one. Place a sample on the stage. Select the 10X objective and look through the right eyepiece only. Use the coarse and fine focus control knobs to adjust the focus of the sample. When the sample is clearly visible, use only your left eye. Do NOT adjust the focus knobs. Instead, adjust the diopter on the left eyepiece until the sample comes clearly into view. The image should be clear with both eyes open. Choose the desired objective. You may need to adjust the fine focus a little.   Camera/Microscope Configuration Chart
  5. DLC Coating Multiplies Useable Life of Surgical Instruments
    April 29, 2013
    When applied to surgical instruments, Diamond-Like Carbon coating dramatically increases the life of the instrument. Because DLC-coated surgical instruments are incredibly durable and resistant to wear from chemicals, moisture and atmospheric conditions, they have a much greater useful lifespan. According to the manufacturer, pure DLC coatings as thin a 2-3μm can increase the lifespan of a pair of Vannas scissors more than 100 times that of its uncoated counterpart. DLC is a revolutionary new coating that is being tested in a variety of industries. For example, when engine parts are coated, the DLC reduces friction and corrosion, increasing the life of the engine. In a completely different industry, DLC coating is being tested on metal heart valves. The coating is non-toxic, and it is so slick that biological
  6. Micro Injection Setup 101
    April 29, 2013
    When it comes to setting up microinjection systems, the options appear endless. The pictures below give some broad suggestions on how you might set up your own system. Keep in mind that many parts are interchangeable depending on your needs or preferences. In general, you will need a stereo microscope on a stand, a light source, one or two micromanipulators with stands, and one or two injection systems. The following images show various setups for microinjection, and all the WPI part numbers are included for easy reference. Remember, when you set up your own system, choose the parts that fit your needs. For example: M10 or the M9 magnetic base could be used.
  7. 14011 Luer Valve Assortment Kit Pictures
    April 26, 2013
    The 14011 barbed tubing assortment kit contains over 250 items. All the items are pictured on a grid below. The darker lines in the image grid represent centimeters, and the smaller ones are 2.5mm apart.
  8. Variety of Pre-pulled Micropipettes Available
    April 26, 2013
    Eliminate the cost and trouble of making your own micropipettes — WPI can quickly supply your need for consistently sized pre-pulled glass micropipettes for injection of dyes or proteins into cells, oocytes and for many other biomedical laboratory applications. Tip diameters (ID) range from 0.1 to 10 micrometers. Micropipettes are available as plain shank or with luer fittings. Schott Duran borosilicate glass 0.5 micrometer and smaller ID micropipettes include an internal glass fiber for easy filling Tip inner diameter tolerance ±20% Short taper yields high strength Nominal length ≈ 50 mm OD:ID = 1.33:1 Standard capillary outer diameters are 1.0 mm (thin-wall) or 1.14 mm Every pipette individually tested and inspected Vacuum packed
  9. Metal Microelectrodes Basics
    April 26, 2013
    Superior microelectrodes for outstanding extracellular recording — tungsten, iridium, platinum-iridium, and Elgiloy® Click here to view the Metal Microelectrode Selection Guide Types of Metal Electrodes WPI offers a large variety of metal electrodes and they come in three basic styles (profiles). The selection guide that follows references the three electrode profiles. In addition, concentric bipolar electrodes are also discussed, as well as some of the options offered for the metal electrodes. NOTE: The electrode diagrams below are not shown to scale.  Profile A  
  10. Metal Microelectrode Selection Guide
    April 26, 2013
    WPI offers an array of metal microelectrodes. In this guide, we will look at introductory assortments, concentric electrodes, profile A, profile B and profile C electrodes. For basic information on these types of metal electrodes, see the Metal Microelectrode Basics page. Links to these related posts appear below this article. Eligoy Steel is a *Cobalt/chromium/nickel alloy. Deciphering Part Numbers With few exceptions, the WPI metal electrodes conform to a part number standard depicted below. For the part number shown, you can determine that: Metal - The electrode is made of platinum iridium. (See the metal codes below.) Length in inches - It is 2" long. Coating Thickness in microns - It has a 3µm coating. Core shaft diameter in millimeters - "B" electrodes with Kapton coating are 0.356mm.(See the core sh
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