BIO300 Microscopy Techniques

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Fredrik Strebel Skedsmo, Lene Cecilie Hermansen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk, norsk

Limits of class size:

Minimum 6 students. Maximum 15.

NB! Sign up by sending an e-mail to Admission must be confirmed by the Imaging Centre. The Imaging centre is responsible for the registration to the Student office, SiT.

Course frequency:


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Nominal workload:250 hours.

Teaching and exam period:The course normaly starts in the January block, with exam and assessment in February, spring parallel.

About this course

  • General optics: electromagnetic radiation, resolving power, magnification, refractive index, diffraction, phase- and amplitude shift and interference.
  • Special optics: general structure of the microscopes and ray paths in LM (light microscopy), CLSM (confocal laser scanning microscopy), SEM (scanning electron microscopy) and TEM (transmission electron microscopy).
  • Different optical and contrast enhancement methods in LM, CLSM, SEM and TEM.
  • General preparationmethods in LM, SEM, CLSM and TEM
  • Lectures, demonstrations and exercises gives a thorough introduction in the use of microscopes and their various imaging techniques.

Learning outcome


Students will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in optics, sample preparation and image formation so that they can:

1) explain the central optical terms

2) describe the beam path and imaging in various microscope types

3) make rational choices in sample preparation and imaging methods based on sample types and problems

4) evaluate and interpret different micrographs (own and published).


Students will be able to diagnose, adjust and use the following microscope:

1) Light microscope, with various types of optical contrast (brightfield, darkfield, polarization, phase contrast, differential interference contrast and fluorescence)

2) Confocal laser scanning microscope

3) Scanning electron microscope, in various imaging mode (SEI and BEI) and X-ray analysis.

4) Transmission electron microscope

Students will also be able to use the following equipments for sample preparation:

1) Different section techniques for light- and transmision electron microscopy.

2) Critical point drying and sputter coating for SEM

Students will also be able to use a variety of methods in sample preparation, stainig/labeling and basic imaging.

  • Lectures, online self-study, practical training, demonstrations and laboratory exercises.
  • Bachelor in the field of life sciences.
  • Submission of written report and oral examination. Pass/Fail. The report must be approved before the student can take the exam.

  • External examiner
  • Exercises and demonstrations.
  • Lectures: 10-12 hours per week. Demonstrations: 2-3 hours per week. Training: 10-12 hours per week Exercises: 10-15 hours per week. Additional lectures: Internet-based individual study and journals. Practical work ends with a written journal.
  • Students at higher levels requiring microscopy techniques in their assignment.
  • Life sciences