What is microscope cover slips?
Microscope cover slips
are thin and flat pieces of glass of transparent material, usually square or rectangular, about 20 mm (4/5 inch) wide and a fraction of a millimeter thick, that are placed on the object being observed with the microscope. The object is usually placed between the coverslip and a slightly thicker microscope slide, which is placed on the microscope's platform or slide stand and provides physical support for the object and slide.
Function of microscope cover slips
The main function of the microscope coverslip
is to keep the solid sample flatly pressed and the liquid sample shaped into a flat layer of uniform thickness. This is essential because of the very tight focus of the higher resolution microscopes.
The coverslip usually has several other functions. It fixes the sample in position ( by the weight of the cover slip or, in case of wet mounting, by the surface tension) and protects the sample from dirt and accidental contact. It protects the microscope objective from contact with the sample and vice versa; in oil immersion microscopy or water immersion microscopy, the cover slide prevents contact between the immersion solution and the sample. The coverslip can be affixed to the slide to seal the sample and retard dehydration and oxidation of the specimen. Microorganisms and cell cultures can be grown directly on the coverslip before being placed on the slide, and the sample can be permanently mounted on the slide instead of the slide.
What is purpose of using microscope cover slips?
The main purpose of the microscope cover slips is to make the observed object form a thin film-like, easy-to-transmit light and easy to observe and to keep the liquid sample in a flat layer of uniform thickness. The purpose of this is to make the high-resolution microscope focus better, to facilitate the use of capillary phenomena, and to make a gradient when adding various types of reagents (stains, acids, salt solutions, etc.). Also, the coverslip serves to keep the observed specimen fixed and flat, protecting the sample from dust and accidental contact. It also avoids contaminating the objective when the specimen is accidentally touched while the objective is being lowered. In an oil immersion microscope or an immersion microscope, the cover slide prevents contact between the immersion solution and the sample.
A microscope cover slip can be affixed to the slide to seal the sample and retard dehydration and oxidation of the specimen. Microorganisms and cell cultures can be placed on slides rather than slides when placed permanently and permanently mounted.
Microscope cover slips features
Covers are offered in various sizes in different thicknesses, dimensions and widths. They are usually sized to fit within the borders of the microscope slide, usually measuring 25 x 75 mm. Square and round coverslips are usually 20 mm wide or smaller. Rectangular slides measuring up to 24 x 60 mm are commercially available.
Microscope coverslips are widely available in several standard thicknesses, identified by the numbers
No.0-0.05 to 0.13mm thick
No.1-1.13 to 0.16mm thick
No.1.5-0.16 to 0.19mm thick
No.1.5H-0.17 to 0.18mm thick
No.2-0.19 to 0.23mm thick
No.3-0.25 to 0.35mm thick
No.4-0.43 to 0.64mm thick
The thickness of the coverslip is critical for high-resolution microscopy. A typical biomicroscope objective is designed for a #1.5 coverslip (0.17 mm thick) with a mount to hold the glass cover on the slide. Using a coverslip that deviates from this expected thickness will result in spherical aberration and a reduction in resolution and image intensity. Specialty targets can be used to image specimens without coverslips or can have correction collars that allow the user to adapt to alternative coverslip thicknesses.
Microscope slides and microscope cover slips
Definition of microscope slides
is a glass or quartz sheet used to hold things when looking at them with a microscope. When making a sample, a cell or tissue section is placed on a slide and a coverslip is placed on top of it for observation. In optics, a thin sheet of glass-like material is used to produce phase differences.
Slides are generally made of two types of materials, one is quartz, which is composed of complete quartz. The other is tempered glass, which is a super white glass that has been toughened and can withstand temperature changes of 200 degrees. Ordinary glass does not have the characteristics of light transmission and temperature resistance.
Difference between microscope slides and microscope cover slips
Microscope slide is glass or quartz sheets used to place samples when looking at something with a microscope. When making a sample, a cell or tissue section is placed on a slide and a coverslip is placed on it and used for observation. A thin sheet of glass-like material is used to produce phase differences.
Microscope coverslips are thin and flat pieces of glass of transparent material, and objects are usually placed between the coverslip and the thicker microscope slide, which is placed on the microscope's platform or slide stand and provides physical support for the object and slide. The main function of the coverslip is to keep the solid sample flattened and the liquid sample able to form a uniform thickness for clear observation under the microscope.
Microscope slides are rectangular, 76mm*26mm in size, and thicker.
The microscope coverslip is square, 10mm*10mm or 20mm*20mm in size and thinner.
Microscope slides are on the lower side and are the holding vehicle for the observed material.
The microscope coverslip is usually placed on top of the slide on which the observed sample material has been placed, mainly to facilitate observation and to avoid contact between the liquid and the objective lens, which may contaminate the mirror. It is also effective in preventing contamination of the observed material by substances in the air.
Different cleaning methods
Microscope coverslips are generally disposable and do not need to be cleaned.
Microscope slides, usually use water or alcohol to scrub clean, if there are higher requirements for utensil hygiene can use the ultrasonic washing machine for cleaning.
How to use microscope cover slips?
a. Microscope coverslips should be cleaned before use. When making a temporary mount, the correct operation of the "cover" step is to gently pick up the coverslip with tweezers and cover it slowly at a 45° angle, so that one side of it first touches the droplets on the slide, and then slowly flatten it. The purpose of this is actually to prevent air bubbles from appearing under the coverslip. Never allow air to flow between the observation object and the coverslip. This will affect the observation effect.
b. Then after we use the Microscope coverslip, it should be cleaned and dried in time for the next use. The coverslip is actually reusable, although it is cheap and not actually disposable.
c. If you have high requirements, you can use the ultrasonic washing machine to clean the cover glass, if there is no ultrasonic washing machine, and the requirements are very clean, then the ordinary cleaning procedure after washing, and then soak in the chromic acid washing solution overnight, and then rinse with distilled water, this is also a very practical and convenient and effective method.
How to clean microscope cover slips?
Microscope coverslip cleaning method
1. First prepare the cleaning agent (also called washing solution): 200mg of potassium dichromate, 1,000ml of water, and 1,000ml of concentrated sulfuric acid (for industrial use).
2. Dissolve the potassium dichromate in water first, then add the concentrated sulfuric acid into the aqueous solution of potassium dichromate drop by drop, without spilling the sulfuric acid. After preparation, hold it in a glass container with a glass stopper to prevent air oxidation. The washing solution can be reused until it turns blue-black.
3. Put the glassware to be washed in a boiling bath of soapy water for 0.5h.
4. Then rinse with water and put into the oven to dry (or natural drying).
5. After drying, immersed in washing solution for about 10min.
6. Put in dustproof place for storage.
7. Commercially available coverslips are relatively simple to clean, and can be soaked in 2% hydrochloric acid alcohol (95% alcohol 100 parts with 2 parts concentrated hydrochloric acid) for a few hours, then rinsed with running water to let the water droplets run dry and stored in 95% alcohol for backup.
8. Cleaning method for obsolete coverslips
9. Boiling bath in soapy water for 5-10 min. for specimens of sections that do not need to be preserved.
10. Wash off the paste of residual gum in hot water.
11. After rinsing in clean water, let the water droplets run dry.
12. Immerse in washing solution for about 30min.
13. Rinse with clear water and then wash with distilled water and let the water droplets run dry.
14. Rinse with clear water and then wash with distilled water and let the water droplets run dry.
15. Immersion in 95% alcohol for storage.
16. Remove the coverslip from the alcohol and wipe both sides of the slide with clean gauze at the same time. Be careful when wiping the coverslip and use even force to avoid shattering.
How to order microscope cover slips?
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