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Confocal Microscopy Virtual Lab

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Join this virtual confocal microscopy lab and learn how to take pin-sharp confocal micrographs and 3D renderings. Use the knowledge to save your uncle’s crop from a mysterious plant disease.

About the Confocal Microscopy Virtual Simulation Lab

Are you tired of blurry fluorescent microscope images and do you want to move to the next level? In the Confocal Microscopy simulation, you will learn about the benefits of using a confocal microscope over other optical imaging techniques. You’ll get to take a closer look at the setup of this type of microscope and learn how to operate it.

Identify the plant disease

Your overall task will be to investigate a mysterious plant disease found at your uncle’s farm. You’ll make a visit to the farm and take an infected barley sample back to the lab where you canl take a closer look at the specimen by using confocal microscopy.

Take a look inside the microscope

In the Confocal Microscopy lab, you’ll be able to look inside a confocal microscope. Follow the lightpath along the mirrors and through the pinhole, and you’ll soon learn how the powerful light of a laser is used to scan a sample of a single layer. See how the pinhole contributes to the formation of razor-sharp fluorescent images.

Analyze the 3D structure

Your last task in the Confocal Microscopy lab is to choose the optimal exposure and scan line speed to take the best possible fluorescence images of the stained crop sample. Finally, you will take a stack of confocal images to create a 3D rendering that will help you to investigate what has infected your uncle’s barley.

Are you ready to identify the plant disease and give your uncle advice on a potential treatment to save his crops?

Techniques In Lab

  • Laser scanning confocal microscopy
  • Staining of plant samples for fluorescence microscopy

 

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Describe the principles of confocal microscopy
  • Use the basic functions of a confocal microscope
  • Select the optimal settings to take confocal micrographs
  • Acquire confocal images and create 3D renderings
  • Describe the setup of a confocal microscope
  • Discuss the advantages of confocal microscopy over conventional optical microscopy

Screenshots of Confocal Microscopy Virtual Simulation Lab

Collaborators

Alice Carr, student collaborator

Exeter University

Claire Burgess, student collaborator

Exeter University

Georgina Mansell, student collaborator

Exeter University

Lucy Oram, student collaborator

Exeter University

Charlotte Robins, student collaborator

Exeter University

Ellie Sloman, student collaborator

Exeter University

How it works

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You can now perform advanced experiments to achieve core science learning outcomes. Theory and practise is connected in a novel way, and all you need is a computer/laptop and a browser!

Our simulations run even on older laptops and computers, and you will be able to play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

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