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Advanced Condenser Systems: Abbe Condensers

Recrystallized Atropine

The digital images presented below were recorded with a QX3 microscope body and an Abbe substage condenser equipped for transmitted Rheinberg illumination. These photomicrographs are unretouched and were captured with the QX3 interactive software.

Recrystallized Atropine
Atropine Crystals at 200x Magnification
(Red Central and Blue/Yellow Annular Gels)

Atropine Crystals at 200x Magnification
(Red Central and Purple Annular Gels)

Atropine Crystals at 200x Magnification
(Green Central and Red Annular Gels)

Atropine is an anticholinergic agent that is a potent parasympatholytic, inhibiting actions of acetylcholine at postganglionic parasympathetic neuroeffector sites. It is a competitive antagonist of acetylcholine at smooth and cardiac muscles and various glandular cells. Use of the drug increases heart rate by slowing down some parts of the nervous system while simultaneously speeding up other parts. It relaxes bronchial smooth muscles, therefore reducing airway resistance and dead space. Other effects are an inhibition of salivary secretion and a reduction in motor activity in the stomach and small and large intestines. Side effects include confusion, dizziness, light-headedness, eye pain, and skin rash.

Semi-transparent specimens are difficult to image using unaided brightfield optical microscopy. The images above were recorded using the Intel Play QX3 microscope in transmitted brightfield mode with the assistance of Rheinberg illumination. Dyed acetate gel filters were strategically placed below the aperture diaphragm of an aftermarket Abbe-style condenser to generate the Rheinberg effect. A 15-millimeter central filter was surrounded by a larger annular filter to combine the effects of oblique specimen illumination by light filtered through the annular filter superimposed over a background of light filtered through the central filter.

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