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Pat Hune

Pat Hune
Microscopes Intl. LLC

January 9, 2017

Blog
Which uScope is the Right One for You?

Choosing the perfect uScope scanner

The uScope is a small, digital microscope designed to be used in your workplace or home office. It captures images from standard glass slides and stores them on your PC. You can interactively browse slides with full control of focus, image processing, and location. You can also scan regions of interest creating fully focused whole slide image sets. The unique design of the uScope is ideally suited for research, clinical, and educational applications where high-quality, automated digital imaging is required.

What types of uScopes are available?

Currently there are two uScope models available in the following configurations.

uScopeMXII

uScopeHXII

How do I know which uScope is the right one for me?

Any of the uScope models listed above can be used for a variety of applications like hematology, pathology, urinalysis, microbiology, cell analysis, biochemistry, drug testing, and parasite detection to name a few. The best uScope for you depends on the level of detail required for your application. The main difference between the various models is the objective.

  • The HXII models have better optics and a high-NA infinity objective.
  • The MXII models have a very good 160mm conjugate objective that makes the unit more economical.

A uScope with a higher NA (numerical aperture) results in much higher detail around the edges of the image. That's why a 20x HXII model (at 0.65NA) has a better image than a 20x MXII model (at 0.40NA). For PhD candidates, the uScopeHXII-40 would be the best choice to capture the sharpest images for your dissertation.

Objectives with lower NA have a greater depth of field which means that more of the image (a greater depth of the image) is in focus. So, if you are scanning thick tissue samples or entomological samples, a lower NA, lower magnification objective may be the best choice. 

What is the difference between an infinity and conjugate objective?

The short answer is that the infinity objective produces better quality images with higher resolution.

The more technical explanation is that when using a finite objective, the light exiting the objective focuses down to a point. The image of the object is magnified and projected onto the camera sensor.

Using the infinite (or infinity corrected) objective, the light exiting the objective is parallel. It only focuses down to a point because of a relay lens that is positioned in the light path between the objective and camera. This allows the light path to be of any length necessary to accommodate filters and/or polarizers. An advantageous side-effect of infinity objectives is that most of them are manufactured to have a high (NA) numerical aperture (and higher NA means greater resolution).

What is the difference between a 20x, 40x and 60x uScope?

The biggest difference is the level of detail captured on the image. The increased detail comes at the cost of the scanning speed. The MXII-20 and HXII-20 scan a 15mm × 15mm area in about eight minutes including scan time and deep zoom time. The MXII-40 takes about four times longer to capture the image but the detail is much better than the MXII-20. The MXII-60 takes about nine times longer than the MXII-20 but the images have an even higher level of detail.

Note that you can change camera settings from the default standard definition (SD) to high-definition mode (HD). HD images are double the resolution of SD images and are similar in resolution to doubling the power of the objective.

Example Scanned Images

Click on the links below to view images scanned from the different uScope models.

 
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