Lectures

A number of introductory and advanced microscopy lectures can be found on the iBiology Microscopy Course website.

Be sure to check out the lectures by HCBI Faculty Director Professor Jeff Lichtman:

Diffraction
Description: Light has properties of particles and waves. Understanding the wave nature of light is essential to understanding the workings of a microscope. This lecture describes Huygens Wavelets, constructive/deconstructive interference, and diffraction.

Point Spread Function
Description: An infinitesimally small point appears in the microscope as a spot with a certain size, blurred in the Z-direction and with concentric rings around it. This "point spread function" reveals many of the optical properties of your microscope. This lecture explains why and how the microscope images a point as a point spread function.

Resolution
Description: The resolution of a microscope can be defined as the smallest distance at which two small objects can still be seen as separate objects.  This lecture discusses various criteria for resolution, the factors that influence resolution in the lateral and axial planes, and how to sample an image adequately using a camera or confocal microscope, such that the full optical resolution is retained.

Additional lectures and webinars by HCBI staff:

Choosing the right camera for your microscope
Presented by: Doug Richardson, Director of Imaging, HCBI
Description: Selecting the right camera for your microscope, or more specifically, the correct camera for your specimen, can be a difficult task. Recent advances in technology have flooded the market with hundreds of choices from cheap webcams to very expensive scientific digital imaging devices. This webinar will outline some key considerations when selecting a camera for your project. Topics will include: pixel count, pixel size, color vs. monochrome, CCD vs CMOS, spectral response, noise, and read-out time.

Imaging 3D volumes in live and fixed samples with Lightsheet microscopy
Presented by: Doug Richardson, Director of Imaging, HCBI
Description: Compound microscopes and their variants have a number of limitations when imaging 3D volumes in live samples, primarily: speed of acquisition, phototoxicity and photobleaching, difficulty maintaining environmental parameters such as temperature, and restrictions on sample orientation.  Researchers are often presented a paradox in which they must either choose between fast imaging capabilities while accepting poor resolution, limited depth penetration, and phototoxicity/bleaching; or increased resolution and slower scan speeds.  Fortunately, the recent reemergence of Lightsheet microscopy provides researchers with a tool to rapidly image large 3D volumes, with minimal photodamage and relatively high resolution.  By using a lens or lenses perpendicular to the imaging objective, a sheet of excitation light is projected or scanned into a sample chamber.  Optical sections are acquired during sheet scanning or sample translation and built up into a final 3D view.  This presentation will provide a brief introduction to the Lightsheet technique, its history, various implementations, and the types of samples that are commonly imaged.  Further discussions will include data handling, sample preparation and an introduction to tissue clearing.