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How does fluorescent microscopy work?

Posted July 27, 2022


Fluorescent microscopy works by collaborating the magnifying properties of the light microscope with the fluorescence emitting properties of substances. Fluorescence microscopy uses high-intensity light sources which excite fluorescent molecules known as fluorophores in the specimen being inspected. The samples are then labeled with a fluorophore in which they absorb high-intensity light from the source and release lower energy light of a longer wavelength. The resulting fluorescent light is then isolated from the neighboring radiation with filters, which allows for the fluorescent material to be visible. The resulting image is a magnified version of the specimen being observed.

It’s important to note that most of the fluorescence microscopes used in biology today are epi-fluorescence microscopes. In these microscopes, the excitation and observation of fluorescence happen above the specimen. Additionally, fluorescent microscopes use a much higher intensity light source than a conventional microscope uses.     

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