This is an excellent microscope for metallurgical samples, and for the observation of living specimens or tissues.
Therefore, the process of cell division can be examined which is not the case using a conventional compound microscope.
What makes an inverted model useful is the ability to maintain a more natural environment for the specimen, thus, extending its life. The viewing of valuable life processes can be researched longer. This is its major advantage over a compound light microscope.
Featured right: fungal culture on a petri dish.
The large specimen/culture may be kept in a large petri dish for viewing instead of on a slide. In a larger container with an appropriate cover there would naturally be less evaporation and more gas exchange to maintain life.
This is not possible when a thin specimen is placed under a cover slip on a slide where evaporation happens too quickly.
The largest disadvantage is the cost.
There are fewer manufacturers and the engineering to manufacture the microscope is more expensive.
This means there are fewer used microscopes of this type on the market, and less competitive pricing.
Additionally, all microscopes have a limited working distance for focusing on the specimen.
When using the inverted type, this difficulty is compounded by the reality of looking up through containers of various optical quality and thickness.
You may look through plastic, which has a much different optical correction than the thin glass slip on a standard slide used with a conventional microscope.
A single drop of pond water shows a diversity of life and it’s interaction on a microscopic level. The ability to observe living specimens with this microscope has added greatly to the knowledge in molecular and cellular biology.
As stated earlier, the living specimen can also be observed over a longer period of time.
Also the inverted microscopes permit use of Kohler Illumination which is a great option as well as DIC and phase contrast optics (creating different shades of brightness) greatly enhancing the image for better viewing instead of needing to stain the specimen and thus kill it.
In the case of large or heavy specimens, such as those in metallurgical sampling, a conventional microscope is useless.
But the inverted model, due to its design is perfect for analysis.
Additionally, models typically have connection ports, which allow them to be attached to a variety of digital recording equipment.
The option of recording the interaction of a specimen in its environment allows for validation and review of the real time observations.
There are several manufacturers of this type. They include:
1/ Meiji Techo offers several inverted models, depending on the intended application.
For biological use, they offer several models starting with the Omano OM 900
The higher end Meiji TC5500/TC5600 - Epi-Fluorescent Biological Microscope
A metallurgical microscope, the basic Omano OMM300T - Inverted, Polarizing, Metallurgical Microscope
The still cost-effective Meiji IM7100 - Inverted Brightfield Metallurgical Microscope
2/ UNICO offers several biological inverted microscopes in their UNICO IV950 Series of Microscopes.
There are a range of price points on the market with reliable manufacturers for these microscopes however, the Amscope and Omax range of inverted microscopes are worth checking out for quality vs price.
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