Modifying the design

Proposed changes in concept layout

The design of the proposed microscope contains several components which could either be eliminated, or at least reduced in volume. The original design is here examined, with a schematic reorganisation in view of these recent findings.

Original design

1: The Original Design

The microscope was composed of several units: a substage phase contrast condenser; a microscope objective immediately adjacent to the well base (on which the cells are to be cultured); a prism to bend the light path through ninety degrees; and a 'microscope camera'.

Design modifications

2: Components which could be removed

If we assume that the spectrophotometer (right) remains in position, we can eliminate a substage condenser (coloured red) if we opt instead for dark-ground illumination. This results in a saving of one-third of the volume of the entire module. The substage prism (coloured purple) could be eliminated were we to position a sensor vertically below the stage assembly. Finally, the microscope camera (blue) could be reduced in size and re-positioned beneath the stage and normal to the light path. In essence, the 'camera' is rendered superfluous: of the components of a camera, the lens is subsumed into the microscope lens, and the image sensor is positioned in the ray path beneath tne stage.

New design

3: A minimalist design approach

Let us reconsider the design components and re-examine their rôles. It is proposed to utilise a lateral light source, ducted to provide semi-annular illumination. A concave reflector (here coloured purple, like the light source) further contrates the light and provides more even illumination. A corrected 6mm lens is sited some 11mm below the well base and project a direct image onto a substage sensor (blue), The effective image magnification is >2x - note the provision of space for the sensor regulator unit to the right (red). This could be incorporated beneath the spectrophotometer, if the carousel carrying the culture wells is raised in order to increase the well-lens separation.

Go to next phase
Return to previous phase

Go to Home Page