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Evaluation of reflection interference contrast microscope images of living cells

Beck, Konrad and Bereiter-Hahn, J. 1981. Evaluation of reflection interference contrast microscope images of living cells. Microscopica Acta 84 (2) , pp. 153-178.

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Abstract

Reflection contrast microscope methods are generally used for studies of those portions of the cell that are turned towards the glass coverslip, to comprehend the structure of the cytoskeleton and the dynamics of cell movement, as well as formation of cell-glass contacts. In incident illumination only reflected light contributes to picture formation. The intensity of which in the case of observation of unstained cells is small because of small refraction differences. To overcome this problem a reflection contrast system was developed by Leitz according to Ploem [49], in which by using contrast preserving measures the reflection becomes prominent in comparison with the lens reflexes. The emerging pictures are a result of interferences of reflections at glass-cell, cell-culture medium and culture medium-cell interfaces. According to Fresnel's equations the reflected intensity depends on the differences of the particular refractive indices and the thickness of the layers, which determine the phase of interfering beams. In idealized systems of thin films the reflected intensity is a measure for their optical constants. Relative reflection measurements from glass-cell areas is comparison with the known glass-medium reflection, can therefore be revealing as far as refraction index, cell-glass distance or cell thickness are concerned. The estimates by Bereiter-Hahn et al. [15] were made in the assumption of vertical illumination neglecting its actual conical shape: the comparison of two Fresnel functions of cytological relevant measurements show - in accordance with Gingell and Todd [24] - that this is only permitted under certain conditions, depending on the required accuracy of the measurements; an incidence angle of about 30 degrees leads to an error of about 10%, an angle of 50 degrees to more than 50%.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
ISSN: 0044-376X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/16293

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