The Fundamentals of Optical Microscopy
NOTE: This course is an ONLINE EVENT
The Stem Cell Network, in collaboration with the Live Cell Imaging Laboratory at the University of Calgary, is pleased to offer the Fundamentals of Optical Microscopy course, targeted to students and staff who are new to microscopy or want to brush up on their optical microscopy skills. Participants will be provided with a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the course.
The course covers the essential concepts required to design and carry out fluorescence experiments, including:
- Image formation
- The selection of appropriate filters and objectives
- Best practices for image acquisition
To maximize the transfer of learning to practice, participants will review case studies and will plan and present an imaging experiment directly related to their research.
This course is delivered in a blended format, live interactive sessions with self-paced asynchronous activities hosted on a Desire2Learn learning management system (D2L). The instructional team will provide support and guidance as participants work through the weekly learning activities. Seven live online remote sessions will create community and consolidate learning. Attendance for the live sessions and completion of the online independent work is mandatory for achieving the Certificate of Completion.
By the end of the online course, attendees should be able to:
- Describe the main ways contrast is generated in optical microscopy, with an emphasis on fluorescence as the mode of contrast
- Explain the relevance of white-light and fluorescence microscopy for biological research
- Identify the parts of a standard brightfield microscope
- Trace the light path of a standard brightfield microscope from the source to the detector and list the steps required for setting up imaging using Koehler illumination
- Describe how the objective and the eyepiece or the objective and the projection lens work together to form magnified images in a simple microscope
- Define diffraction and explain how it limits the spatial resolution of standard optical microscopes
- Define and describe the concept of numerical aperture
- Describe the connection between numerical aperture, diffraction, and spatial resolution
- Differentiate between the magnification and the numerical aperture and to explain which is more important when considering the spatial resolution of a microscope objective
- Explain the different optical parameters listed on objectives and their relevance to your research project
- Explain the relevance of sampling to image acquisition
- Trace the light paths of a widefield fluorescence system identify the components of the light path, and describe the purpose of each component
- Select the appropriate fluorochrome to match filter sets on a fluorescence microscope
- Define a digital image
- Define bit depth and its relevance to optical imaging data sets
- List the acquisition settings such as illumination intensity, binning, and exposure time and describe how these settings influence the image quality
- Describe how to acquire fluorescence images using one or more fluorescent channels
- Explain the difference between wide-field and confocal microscopy and provide guidelines for selecting the appropriate technique for a specific application
- Recognize and apply best practices and common pitfalls in optical microscopy
- Apply concepts to designing an optical imaging experiment directly related to your research.
Who Should Attend?
This microscopy course is designed for stem cell and regenerative medicine “wet bench” research trainees‡ who are new to microscopy or want to brush up on their optical microscopy skills.
‡ A research trainee is a graduate student, post-doc, research associate and/or technician currently working in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine in a Canadian lab.
Course Format and Dates:
|Module||Topic||Live session (delivery via Zoom) provisionally scheduled for 9:30-11:00 am Mountain Time.|
|1||Introduction to the course and community building||Thursday, January 20, 2022|
|2||Introduction to fluorescence microscopy||Thursday, January 27, 2022|
|3||Sample preparation for immunofluorescence microscopy||Thursday, February 3, 2022|
|4||Essential optics for microscopy||Thursday, February 10, 2022|
|5||The objective and the limits of spatial resolution||Thursday, February 17, 2022|
|6||Introduction to confocal microscopy||Thursday, February 24, 2022|
|7||Case studies||Thursday, March 3, 2022|
|Last session||Best practices for the experimental workflow||Thursday, March 10, 2022|
|Course wrap-up||Report and reflection questions||A Certificate of Completion for the Fundamentals of Microscopy will be awarded once the course work is completed.|
Note: In addition to the online sessions, the course also includes weekly self-paced asynchronous independent activities hosted on a Desire2Learn learning management system (D2L). The instructional team will provide support and guidance as participants work through the weekly learning activities. Attendance for the live sessions and completion of the online independent work is mandatory for achieving the Certificate of Completion.
Course Location: ONLINE. A link to the online sessions will be provided to successful applicants.
Application Deadline: Thursday, December 9, 2021
Application Procedure & Registration Fees
Due to the interactive nature of this training event, spaces on this online course are limited; all those interested in participating must submit a completed application form to attend the Fundamentals of Optical Microscopy course by Thursday, December 9, 2021.
- Application deadline is 11:59 PM (sender’s time) Thursday, December 9, 2021.
- Spaces are limited on this important training opportunity. SCN will cover the registration costs (paid directly to the organizers) of this event for applicants from their networks who attend all sessions and complete all elements of the online content in this training event within the designated period. For applicants that fail to attend all sessions or complete the course content a fee of $500 will be charged to their supervisor to cover the costs associated with delivering this training event.
Eligibility for the course:
- Applicants must be a trainee / highly qualified personnel (HQP) (i.e. a graduate student, post-doc, research associate and/or technician currently working on a research project in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine in a Canadian lab.) Non-academic applicants are welcome to apply, however academic applicants are prioritized. A $700 fee will apply to all non-academic applicants.
- If you’re unsure whether you are a trainee / HQP, please email Ellie Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org for confirmation.
- Applicants must clearly demonstrate that they will apply the techniques learned at the course to their own stem cell research project within one year.
Note that participants in this course are required to use their own laptop computers, with head-set for audio and webcam for video interaction. A second monitor/screen is also highly recommended.
- Complete the application form and return it, along with any additional documents required, by email to Ellie Arnold at email@example.com
- by 11:59 PM (sender’s time) Thursday, December 9, 2021.
- The SCN Training & Education Committee will review all complete applications, and applicants will be informed of the competition outcome by December 16, 2021. Notification of acceptance for successful applicants will include a link for joining the online course sessions.
Reporting and Communication Requirements:
By accepting a place on this course, the recipient agrees to complete a post-event survey describing the value of the training and networking opportunities made available through the course. This information will be used at SCN’s discretion on its website, newsletters and for the purpose of reporting to their funding agencies.
For further information on this course or for application related enquiries please contact Ellie Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org.