The Inverted Microscope In Research Lab

In a scientific research lab, microscopes are of great importance.  They are used for observing all microscopic biological samples and molecules. A microscope is made from many crucial components that work together for generating well-structured and detailed images.  As far as microscopy techniques are concerned, inverted and phase-contrast microscopy is more famous. These are the recent advancements to the traditional conventional microscopes. The inverted phase microscope is also famous in the research world because of its image formation techniques. The inverted microscope uses the light source and its condenser to generate the images in an inverted fashion. Here the condenser is situated at the top of the pointing stage in the trinocular head region of the microscope.  And the specimen is situated at the offside of the inverted compound microscope. Contrary to phase-contrast microscopy, the inverted microscope generates images of biological specimens in unstained conditions. The specimen is placed at the top of the trinocular compound microscope of inverted nature.  So, they are called inverted microscopes.

Discovery Of Inverted Microscopes

It was discovered or invented by a faculty member of the Medical College of Louisiana.  J. Lawrence reversed the normal construction of the traditional microscope and made up a new one with inverse fashion. In an inverted microscope, the condenser and light source is located below the pointing stage.  The magnified images obtained through the inverted microscope with the camera are observed from down.  The viewing of the images is downwards through the trinocular head of the inverted microscope. The images are inverted in nature that is not found in normal standard microscopes or phase contrast microscopes.  Lawrence of Tulane University invented the inverted microscope in the year 1850 with the help of some of his colleagues and his knowledge. 

The inverted microscope is somewhat like light microscopes which give out better images of biological samples. So, they are also used in the observations of cell culture. And thus, it is called a cell culture microscope or culture microscope, or tissue culture microscope.  Like the phase-contrast microscopy, the inverted microscope with the camera also gives out detailed and structured images. This makes inverted microscopy one of the good options to view the specimens.

Construction Of Inverted Microscope

The construction of an inverted microscope is simple with small differences.  Here, the pointing stage is generally fixed and no changes happen in it.  However, you can adjust the focus of the inverted phase microscope to get a good specimen of images. In inverted microscopy, the focus is adjusted by moving the objective lens along the length of the vertical axis.  This brings the focus close to each other and close to the biological specimen also. For adjusting the focus of the trinocular head microscope of inverted nature,  there is present a knob.  This knob has a double concentric knob for the adjustment process.   The fine adjustment of focus is executed by the inverted microscope’s knobs. 

Inverted microscopes come in all sizes in the market.  The objective piece number depends on the size of the inverted microscope.  It is usually seen that four to six objective lenses are required for the inverted phase microscope to produce a different magnification of images. These objective lenses are fitted to a rotating turret called a nosepiece. The condensers are also fitted in the microscope to mediate the direct light falling from the light source. The phase-contrast microscopy components can also be fitted in the inverted microscope, to make it more ideal for biological specimen observations.  Such types of microscopes are called inverted phase contrast microscopes.

Such inverted phase-contrast microscopes use the working mechanism of phase-contrast microscopy to give out high contrast images. Interferences are also used in the magnification process of biological samples.  Apart from all these things, several modern devices can also be used.  The devices like cameras, illumination devices, fluorescence devices, and many other image capturing devices can be fitted to the inverted phase-contrast microscope. In addition to this, confocal scanning devices can also be used to get a better-magnified image of biological specimens.

Working Of An Inverted Microscope  In a Research Laboratory

The working of an inverted microscope is quite similar to the phase-contrast microscopy and standard normal microscopy techniques. However, slight differences occur at the working level. Following are the points of inverted microscope working:

  1. On the stage of an inverted microscope, place the biological specimen in a slide or glass container for observation.
  2. The stage of the inverted phase microscope does not move at all. It is fixed at a point in the microscope which is all set at a stationary position.
  3. Now, set the focus by moving the condenser and the objective lenses in a  good way. It is done by using the adjusting knob of concentric layers.  The adjusting process is done along with the vertical axis of the inverted microscope.
  4. The biological specimen or sample can be observed through the ocular lens fitted to the device. The images can be observed through the screen by attaching a video camera to it. Thus, it is called a trinocular microscope with a camera. The best trinocular microscope has the feature of adding the camera and other devices.
  5. The inverted phase microscope can be linked to confocal scanners and fluorescent illuminators for different sets of experiments demonstrated in the lab. 
  6. With all these points, highly magnified images of biological samples can be obtained.

Some Broad Applications Of Inverted Microscope

As the upright and inverted microscope is used for observations of biological samples. It is broadly used in many research experiments in the lab.  Some of the broad categories of applications are as follows :

  • Biological Applications Of Inverted Microscope

The microscope is useful for observing different types of living cells and organisms placed in a tube or container.  A tissue flask can also be used to observe the cells through the trinocular head.  The inverted microscope is used for obtaining good images of the specimens. For visualization of mycobacterium tuberculosis, this microscopy technique is ideal.  As it is used for the visualization of microorganisms, it is called microscopic observation drug susceptibility (MODS).

  •  Micromanipulation

Inverted phase microscopes are used in micromanipulation applications. Here the space above the specimen is required for manipulator mechanisms in the microscope. The microtools hold in the microscope make it easy. Many metallurgical applications are polished samples of the experiment.  The inverted microscope can observe such application tools from its trinocular head.  The specimens can be kept on the stationary stage for observations.  To view the images reflecting objective lenses are fitted.  One can view the specimen’s images through this.

  • Parasitology

In the diagnosis of parasitology, the upright and inverted microscope works very efficiently.  With this feature, it is used for most of the research and diagnostic labs.  However, the images are inverted in nature but can be useful for diagnosis purposes.


The inverted phase contrast microscopes are useful in a variety of research as well as diagnostic applications.  It is also coupled with phase-contrast microscopy to give out highly contrasted images of the biological specimens. Inverted microscopes are well used in every aspect of research and diagnostics. You can check the inverted microscope price in both online and offline mediums.

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