Hello from Tehran :)

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
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daruosha
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:10 am
Location: Tehran, Iran

Hello from Tehran :)

#1 Post by daruosha » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:33 pm

Hi. I was lurking around for quite some time and frankly I was feeling shy to post anything on a forum that I knew next to nothing about its subject; and I had tons of questions to ask (I found many answers in the forum though).

I've got M.Sc in artificial intelligence and M.Sc in electronics engineering. I work as a technical manager in a software company, my main hobbies are programming, electronics, photography and now microscopy (which brought chemistry and biology with itself as side-hobbies). I developed my passion for microscopy solely by watching Oliver's video on YouTube and I felt in love with microscopes like never before. I had a stereo microscope for my electronics repair and soldering/inspection and Mr. Microbehunter's videos inspired me to jump into this hobby, leaving no doubt for compound microscopes.

I bought my first microscope 3 months ago and thanks to YOU guys, I went through a very smooth yet fast learning curve in microscopy. From making blood smears to clearing insects in KOH and H2O2 and staining specimens , blah blah :D

Now a few pictures of my man cave:
Image
My microscopes, the left one is a cheap Chinese but I have it upgraded to plan objectives, the middle on is Novel N-180M equipped with phase contrast objectives and turret condenser, the right one is a GXM-L2800 microscope with Kohler illumination and infinity objectives(180mm tube length) .


Image
Cross section of a flower stem, hand microtomed and mounted in Entellan, simple polarization.


Image
My electronics repair station.


Image
My test and measurement equipment (oscilloscopes, arb gens, spectrum analyzers, and other good stuff)


Image
A mosquito, mounted in Entellan

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Wings of an unknown fly processed and mounted in Entellan.
Last edited by daruosha on Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Daruosh.

Larry060
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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:47 pm

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#2 Post by Larry060 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:48 pm

Welcome Daruosha.

I am new here also and learned a lot from Oliver's videos. That is a nice collection of microscopes and tools. I hope to be able to prepare specimens like that soon too.

MicroBob
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Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#3 Post by MicroBob » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:38 pm

Hi Darousha,
welcome to the forum! Being an elecronics engineer is for microscopy about as useful a being a biologist or chemist. There are lots of electronics based accessories to make microscopy easier. Just today we had a group meeting where i made diatom slides with the group and we used a little heat plate I built myself and a couple of 3D-printed accessories.
Your plant section leaves some room for improvement. One of the best sources of information on plant sectioning is the website of the german Mikroskopie Kolleg Bonn: http://www.mikroskopie-bonn.de/themenga ... index.html
Google translator or DeepL will help you with the language.

How did you section and process your section? Did you go through xylene as an intermedium?

Your electronics workbech looks great - I would be happy to know how to operate you measuring equipment!

Bob

PeteM
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Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#4 Post by PeteM » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:44 pm

+1 to Bob's point. The merger of computing and optics is the current frontier in microscopy.

WhyMe
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Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#5 Post by WhyMe » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:23 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum!

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daruosha
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:10 am
Location: Tehran, Iran

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#6 Post by daruosha » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:22 pm

MicroBob wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:38 pm
Hi Darousha,
welcome to the forum! Being an elecronics engineer is for microscopy about as useful a being a biologist or chemist. There are lots of electronics based accessories to make microscopy easier. Just today we had a group meeting where i made diatom slides with the group and we used a little heat plate I built myself and a couple of 3D-printed accessories.
Your plant section leaves some room for improvement. One of the best sources of information on plant sectioning is the website of the german Mikroskopie Kolleg Bonn: http://www.mikroskopie-bonn.de/themenga ... index.html
Google translator or DeepL will help you with the language.

How did you section and process your section? Did you go through xylene as an intermedium?

Your electronics workbech looks great - I would be happy to know how to operate you measuring equipment!

Bob

Thanks Bob, I truly believe electronics helps you in everything. I have retrofited my cheap Chinese scope with 3W COB half an hour and now I'm planning to motorize the stage and focus wheels of the microscope using an STM32 micro controller so I can stitch and stack photos automatically with no PP.

For heat plate I use my pre-heater:
Image
It goes up to 400C, but has a very poor PID control loop, so you have to be careful. I tried it for mounting diatoms on a cover slip, but apparently Entellan is not the best choice when it comes to mounting diatoms.

For sectioning the plants stem, I read an article by Walter Dioni, using sandwiched razor blade within two other blades. Yes, before mounting the specimen I dehydrate it with series of alcohol solutions (%70, %90, %100, %100) and then use Xylene or Toluene to remove alcohol and make it compatible with Entellan or Canada Balsam.
Last edited by daruosha on Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
Daruosh.

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daruosha
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Location: Tehran, Iran

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#7 Post by daruosha » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:24 pm

Larry060 wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:48 pm
Welcome Daruosha.

I am new here also and learned a lot from Oliver's videos. That is a nice collection of microscopes and tools. I hope to be able to prepare specimens like that soon too.
Thanks for your welcome. I'm a newbie myself. my specimen making skills are very basic and I need to learn and do experience a lot.
I see Entellan is not a popular choice in this forum, but once you get the hang of it, you can't ignore it.
Daruosh.

MicroBob
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Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#8 Post by MicroBob » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:38 pm

I can't say why but your plant stem doesn't really look like one. There should be hollow vessels like a buch of small tubes.

Diatoms look in fact like glass. To increase visibility a mountant is used that differs in it's refractive index from that of diatoms (diatoms 1,4-1,5). This rules out most usual mountants. Water (1,3) and air (1,0) are usable but have their specific drawbacks. For permanent mounts mountants with high r.i. are usually used, like Naphrax an Pleurax. Today Pleurax is the preferred mountant for strew slides. You can get it here: https://diatoms.nl/index.php
If you have access to a laboratory you could make your own: http://www.mikrohamburg.de/Tips/T_Hochb ... ittel.html
Here is a description of simple diatom cleaning processes: http://www.mikrohamburg.de/Programm/Pro ... 170917.pdf
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daruosha
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Location: Tehran, Iran

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#9 Post by daruosha » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:01 pm

MicroBob wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:38 pm
I can't say why but your plant stem doesn't really look like one. There should be hollow vessels like a buch of small tubes.

Diatoms look in fact like glass. To increase visibility a mountant is used that differs in it's refractive index from that of diatoms (diatoms 1,4-1,5). This rules out most usual mountants. Water (1,3) and air (1,0) are usable but have their specific drawbacks. For permanent mounts mountants with high r.i. are usually used, like Naphrax an Pleurax. Today Pleurax is the preferred mountant for strew slides. You can get it here: https://diatoms.nl/index.php
If you have access to a laboratory you could make your own: http://www.mikrohamburg.de/Tips/T_Hochb ... ittel.html
Here is a description of simple diatom cleaning processes: http://www.mikrohamburg.de/Programm/Pro ... 170917.pdf

I have a laboratory of my own. the other side of my man cave is a crude chemistry lab with all sort of chemicals and tools, my last lab acquisition (a centrifuge) made the wife quite angry, on the verge of unnecessary argument, you know it :). I'll give it a try.

Your plant stem looks even weirder than mine :D . It was a stem of rose leaf IIRC.
Daruosh.

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mrsonchus
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Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#10 Post by mrsonchus » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:17 pm

That's why it's anatomy isn't the unifacial stem type - it's a petiole ('leaf stalk') - a little like a stem that hasn't fully 'wrapped into a cylinder' as it were - hence the lack of a ring of vascular bundles etc.
In fact Bob's also looks like a petiole rather than a stem section - a lovely fresh hand section!
John B

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daruosha
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Location: Tehran, Iran

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#11 Post by daruosha » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:22 pm

mrsonchus wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:17 pm
That's why it's anatomy isn't the unifacial stem type - it's a petiole ('leaf stalk') - a little like a stem that hasn't fully 'wrapped into a cylinder' as it were - hence the lack of a ring of vascular bundles etc.
In fact Bob's also looks like a petiole rather than a stem section - a lovely fresh hand section!
Thanks for the info. There's so much to learn...
Daruosh.

MicroBob
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Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#12 Post by MicroBob » Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:51 am

It is extremely useful to know about chemistry and have a lab when doing microscopy. Typically one needs one extra mechanical, electronic or optical component and at least one chemical for every new microscopy topic one enters! :shock:
A warning though: Very many preparation recipes expect you to really know what you do when handling chemicals. They list ordinary kitchen salt next to osmium tetroxide without pointing out the slightly different level of danger. In some cases the authors even seem to brag with their use of dangerous chemicals. Getting rid of the waste in a harmless and environmental friendly way is also a big problem. So it is very important to check carefully what chemicals are involved and how they can react with each other.

Here are the recipes for high refractive index mountants that my group colleagues dug out and refined: http://www.mikrohamburg.de/Tips/T_Hochb ... ittel.html
Today Pleurax is preferred by many diatomists over Naphrax, and it is also much easier to make. But you absolutely need a real laboratory fume cabinet with an exhaust that ends in a safe place, not next to your neighbours bedroom window! Unless you happen to have the ingredients cheaply available it is probably better to order the dutch Pleurax. It is very light in colour where the Pleurax my colleagues cooked is comparatively darker, probably due to oxidisation.

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daruosha
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Location: Tehran, Iran

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#13 Post by daruosha » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:58 am

Hi Bob,

I take safety quite seriously and always read the MSDS materials and review everything several times before doing the actual work. No one wants a splash of Potassium Hydroxide on his face or considerable amounts of sulfur gas in his lungs.

I read the same literature by Dr.G.Rosenfeldt and understood a proper ventilation to safely get rid of fumes is crucial. I believe you're right and it makes sense to order it. It's not too expensive, I'll order some (Hopefully it won't vanish in the customs or post offices).
Daruosh.

MicroBob
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Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am

Re: Hello from Tehran :)

#14 Post by MicroBob » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:45 am

For the diatomist it is very valuable that Michel produces and sells his Pleurax. As long as he can sell enough he will probably produce it, so it is a good idea to support this little business.

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