How To Prepare Microscope Slides

microscope slides are used to examine single-celled organisms and to look up- close at small plants and organismsThere are two types of slides.Different types of cells are mounted using different preparation methods.If you wet mount a pale or translucent specimen, you may need to stain it to make it visible under the microscope.

Step 1: A clean slide is what you should choose.

Look through the slide to make sure it is free of dirt and smudges.Most microscope slides are rectangular in shape.Light from the microscope can travel through and illuminate the translucent sample specimen.You won’t be able to examine your specimen if your slide is dirty or smudged.You can wash your microscope slide with liquid soap and water if you find any traces of your fingerprints on it.Use a clean cloth to dry the slide.lint can be left behind by tissues and paper towels.

Step 2: If the specimen needs to be sliced, inspect it.

Light needs to pass through the sample specimen in order for it to be translucent.You won’t be able to see the specimen through the microscope if light cannot fully pass through it.Some of the specimen are thin and translucent on their own, and will not need to be sliced with a razor blade.

Step 3: Take out a small piece of the specimen.

Cut your specimen material with a razor blade.Dry mounts do not use liquid between the specimen and the slide.It’s a good idea to use a dry mount for inspecting samples that aren’t at risk of drying out.There are materials that are dry-mounted.There are flower petals or leaves.There are insect legs or wings.There is hair, fur, or feathers.

Step 4: The specimen should be placed on the slide.

The thin slice of your sample specimen can be picked up with a pair of forceps.Place it on one side of the slide.If you are using a slide with one side dipping down, place the specimen in the center of the slide.If you are worried that the specimen will roll or slide off the slide, mount it on a concave slide.If you are preparing a flower that rolls to one side or the other, use a concave slide.A flat slide will work for all types of specimen.

Step 5: A cover slip is needed for the sample specimen.

The sample specimen can’t fall off the slide because of the cover slip.If a user of the microscope accidentally lowers the lens so much that it taps the specimen, the slip will protect it.A cover slip is a thin piece of glass or plastic.The slips are about 4 inch in both width and length.The slide is ready to be inspected.

Step 6: There is a drop of water on the slide.

You can use an eyedropper to drop water onto a slide.The wet mount is named after the water droplets.The liquid keeps the sample specimen moist and prevents it from drying out.Living organisms can be found in the water.If you want to make a permanent slide using dead organic material, you can use a thin layer of clear nail polish.

Step 7: You can slice a section of the specimen.

Sample specimen used for wet mounts are usually wet or living organic.You can use a razor blade or toothpick to cut your wet specimen.There are materials that can be used to make wet mount slides.A thin cross-section of a plant.tweezers are not good for studying single-celled organisms.Use a clean eyedropper to pick up a few drops of the water in which single-celled organisms are swimming.

Step 8: Place the specimen in the water.

To transfer your specimen to the slide, use a pair of forceps, tweezers, or a toothpick.The specimen should be in the center of the water droplet.If you are using an eyedropper to pick up single-celled organisms, place 1 or 2 drops into the water drop already on the slide.

Step 9: There is a cover slip on top of the specimen.

At a 45 angle, hold the cover slip.Next to the specimen on the water drop, place one of the edges.Lower the slide until it is on top of the specimen.The water should be spread out beneath the cover slip until it reaches the edges.When the cover slip is in place, don’t press on it.If you don’t, the sample specimen and water will be on the slide.

Step 10: The cover slip has a paper towel sheet against it.

The towel should be against the edge of the slip.The staining agent can be pulled from the specimen by pulling the paper towel under the cover slip.Your wet-mounted slide specimen can be pale or colorless.When looking through a microscope, it may be difficult to see a cross-section of a plant stem.You can see the specimen’s shape and texture by staining it.After examining the specimen in a slide without staining it, this is usually done.Even if the slide is not stained, it may already be prepared.

Step 11: On the other side of the cover slip, put a drop of either iodine or methylene blue.

The staining chemical can be dropped on top of the microscope slide by using an eyedropper.It’s important to only give 1 drop.The slide may have excess staining agent on it.Iodine or methylene blue can be purchased at any education store or biology supply store.Adding a drop of staining agent to the water on a wet-mounted slide is an alternate way of doing this.You don’t need a paper towel in this case.

Step 12: Wait as the staining agent is drawn.

As the paper towel draws water out from the other side, the staining agent will begin to leak under the cover slip.It may take as long as 5 minutes for the methylene blue to absorb under the slide cover and saturate the specimen.The specimen is fully dyed once it has drawn all the way under the slide cover.

Step 13: A clean paper towel is needed to wipe up excess staining agent.

Don’t let loose liquids spill off the side of the slide.Your slide is ready to be looked at under a microscope.