Friday, 10 January 2014

Hair follicle nerve endings?

Well I have now prepared my first ever slide.. rather crudely.  I don't appear to have all the required equipment.  I'm grateful for just having the microscope for the time being and can make do with the small box of blank slides and covers.  I don't have a pipette or dropper either.  So I did it 17th century style.. :-)

As I am studying a neuroscience course looking at peripheral nerves and somatosensation, my first subject would be a hair follicle and its nerve endings... I'm not sure if this is or isn't showing such nerve endings.. but I can't think of much else that would wrap around like this, unless it is another type D hair that has bunched up due to the plucking process?  (Anyone know?)

(Photos taken with a Pentax held against the eyepiece again...  100x of a chest hair...  (also crudely measured against a 0.5 mm ruler in another shot - width of hair = 140 μm.. width of fibres about 5-10 μm.))

Water dropped on the slide using the wood end of a match.. hair plucked (necessarily painfully).. and follicle end was dropped into the water.  I held a small cover glass sheet (type 1 - 0.17 mm i think is what I have) and vaselined the edges (according to one website I read this prevents it drying out) .. and then messed around trying to get the cover sheet to drop flat on the slide so as few bubbles as possible were trapped... trial and error... I was satisfied at this stage for only have a few bubbles that were 'out of shot'..   Slides labelled with some chopped up personalised stickers I was sent in the post.

Now I also need a container to put these slides in.. and a pipette/dropper... and some staining fluid would be a nice addition! ..

and here's a couple at 400x of the shaft...  Are these sensory endings that I am currently studying about in the Open University's SD329 Signals and Perception...?  I wonder...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hair follicles on a bee wing

I don't know if they are hair follicles... but as you zoom in and out they are where the tiny hairs join the wing.. This is my first post with my new microscope.. more details of that at another time...   I don't have a camera attachment at the moment, so I am carefully holding my Pentax over the eyepiece for the time being.  (I have to investigate eyepieces and the dimensions required...)  - I'll also have to work out what magnification this is.. there's no model number on the microscope, so I can't say what model or magnification .. (steep learning curve)
This was in one of the 10 prepared slides that came with the microscope.  (Plus you'll have to excuse the blemishes from my dusty old camera... it doesn't bother me too much for now.. I'm sure some of them come from a dusty lens somewhere too... )

[edit: 800x magnification from a compound microscope]