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Analyze the microscopic structure of the small intestine and learn the advantages and limitations of light, fluorescence and electron microscopy.

About This Simulation

Students learn how to operate a light microscope and understand the mechanisms behind. They are presented with chicken intestinal slides that have been stained with Anilin, Orange G and Fuchsin. Using the 5x magnification, students identify the villus, and then proceed with higher magnifications to identify smooth muscle, extracellular tissue, epithelial cells, Goblet cells and the nuclei.

Electron microscopes can be used to visualize objects that are too small to see when using a light microscope—for example the microvilli, mitochondria and the junctions between cells. In this lab, students examine a chicken intestine slide that is specially prepared for a transmission electron microscope. Students can zoom in and out and observe different cellular structures.

Students learn about fluorescence staining techniques and how it can be used to visualize specific structures. For example, by staining the DNA with DAPI, students can easily identify a cell’s nucleus. In this part of the lab, Students will examine a chicken intestine sample that is infected with a retrovirus. They observe how the virus infects the lymphocytes and how it inhibits inflammation. The retrovirus can be further developed as medicine for coeliac disease.



Dr. Frank Hauser

Department of Biology

University of Copenhagen

Dr. Kim Furbo Rewitz

Department of Biology

University of Copenhagen

Dr. Vibeke Sødring Elbrønd

Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences

University of Copenhagen

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding different microscopy techniques and their limitations
  • Identifying various cell types and cellular structures
  • Learning about coeliac disease and intestinal inflammation
  • Learning about staining techniques


  • Light micrroscopy: using immersion oil and working with different objectives
  • Fluorescent microscopy


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