A tissue culture microscope, also known as an inverted microscope, is a specialized type of microscope designed for the observation of biological specimens, particularly those that are cultured in containers such as petri dishes, flasks, or multiwell plates. It is called "inverted" because, unlike a traditional upright microscope, the optics are located underneath the specimen stage. This design allows for the examination of samples from the bottom, which is ideal for observing cells and tissues growing in a controlled environment, like in cell culture dishes or tissue culture flasks.
Key features of a tissue culture microscope include:
Inverted Design: The optics, light source, and objectives are located below the specimen stage. This allows for easy access and manipulation of samples in culture vessels.
Long Working Distance Objectives: Tissue culture microscopes are equipped with objectives that have a longer working distance to accommodate the thickness of culture vessels and the space required for manipulating samples.
Phase Contrast and/or Fluorescence Capabilities: These microscopes often come with phase contrast and fluorescence illumination options, which enhance the contrast and visibility of cellular structures and enable the use of fluorescent markers for specific labeling.
Heating Stage and CO2 Incubation: Some tissue culture microscopes may have accessories like heated stages and environmental control systems (such as CO2 incubation) to maintain optimal conditions for living cell cultures during observation.
Widefield or Confocal Microscopy: Depending on the model, these microscopes can be equipped for both widefield and confocal imaging, allowing for different levels of resolution and optical sectioning.
Tissue culture microscopes are commonly used in cell biology, microbiology, and other life sciences disciplines to observe live cell cultures, monitor cell growth, perform time-lapse imaging, and conduct experiments related to cell behavior and interactions. They are valuable tools for researchers studying various aspects of cellular biology, including cell morphology, division, migration, and response to treatments or stimuli.
In this video we go over one of the more popular Tissue Culture microscopes. The Olympus CKX41