The Leeuwenhoek Specimens

What the Electron Microscope reveals of Leeuwenhoek's research

Optic nerve Mite

1) Bovine Optic Nerve

Leeuwenhoek's slices of dried optic nerve compare favourably with his diagrammatic studies.

2) Leeuwenhoek's mites - a common inclusion in his specimens

In several letters, Leeuwenhoek referred to the mites in his home. We can now identify them as Tyrophagus.

Elder with WBC RBC's on section

3) A leucocyte and associated Staphylococci

On a hand-cut section of pith from the elder (Sambucus nigra) we may discern a white cell and some bacteria.

4) Under high power, erythrocytes revealed

Careful scanning electron microscopy revealed red cells (erythrocytes) on a section - cut by using an open razor.

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Consult introductory page History of the Microscope or read on Leeuwenhoek as experimental biologist.