Bright field microscopy In this modality of microscopy an image of the sample is generated by absorbance of some of the transmitted light (i.e. light going through the sample)
by dense areas in the sample. A bright field microscopy image typically appears dark
on a bright background, hence the name.
Fluorescence microscopy is used to image fluorescent molecules in a specimen. To that end, illumination,
incident light arriving onto the specimen excites the fluorescent molecules to emitt
fluorescent light which is then viewed through the eyepiece. The incident light is
filtered out before it arrives to the eyepieces and therefore the image appears as
bright features on a dark background. The two most common modalities of fluorescence
microscopy are wide-field and confocal scanning.
Wide-field fluorescence microscopy the illumination and fluorescent light cover the whole visual field of the microscope
objective. The image can be viewed through the eyepieces or detected by a camera.
Confocal scanning fluorescence microscopy This type of fluorescence microscopy is: (1) confocal because it reduces the collection
of light away from the focal plane (i.e. it collects light from optical sections) and (2)
scanning because laser light is scanned through a narrow area of the specimen to generate
fluorescent light; the image is not wide-field because the scanned area is smaller
that the visual field of the microscope objective. In this type of microscopy, the
image cannot be viewed through the eyepieces. Instead, the fluorescent light is collected
by specialized detectors and a dedicated computer program assembles an image that
can be view on a computer monitor and saved as a digital file.