Stomata in nail varnish

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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ralfwagner
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Stomata in nail varnish

Post by ralfwagner »

Hello,

I put some colorless nail varnish on the leafunderside of one of my womans room-plants (I really do not know its name), waited until the varnish was dry and pulled it off. Then I placed this varnish on a slide and did these pictures with "Rheinberg" illumination. Each picture is stack of several images with ZereneStacker.

Image

Image

I was quite astonished about the sharpness with which the stomata were "copied" to the varnish film.

Mitch640
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Post by Mitch640 »

I'm always astonished when I see how sharp something like this can come out. Very nice images.

g4lab
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Post by g4lab »

Couldn't be any nicer if it was shot in the SEM (the lady at our university shoots these in the SEM all the time as a student demo)

But it should not be that surprising either. Back when the SEM was a brand new toy and before the lab I worked in got an SEM we did replications all the time, shadowed them with platinum and looked at them in the TEM.

Mitch640
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Post by Mitch640 »

I'm wondering, how do you mount the nail polish cast to the slide? Under a coverslip, wet, dry?

BJ
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Post by BJ »

Ralf,

Excellent ( as usual) !!

As you comment, the definition is superb. Obviously your skill is very important, but I think there are other factors which can be critical:

1. the viscosity and possibly brand of the nail varnish and the drying time
2. the dryness of the leaf
3. the turgor of the leaf

- i think that these 3 are important as I get variable results even with the same species.

also
4. whether the stomata are open or not
and
5. most importantly, the actual nature of the leaf surface. I think it is much easier to get good peels with some species than with others.

I often "wash" the leaf first with 70 or 95 % alcohol, and I seem to get better definition after this. Here in the south of Portugal leaves are often liberally coated with dust which the alcohol helps to remove.

It looks as though you may have imaged some bacteria and yeasts on the leaf surface - fantastic !

thank you,

Brian

ralfwagner
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Post by ralfwagner »

Hello,

and thank you for your kind comments. The nail polish was mounted dry under a cover slip.

I am thinking that Brian has exactly described the possible difficulties and variations you will observe when playing with this method.

In a German book on microscopy (http://www.amazon.de/gro%C3%9Fe-Kosmos- ... 3440089894) it is recommended to clean the surface first with some adhesive tape (Tesa Film for example), but I didn't do it here. Maybe I'll give it a try later.

lauriek
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Post by lauriek »

Wow they're like loads of tiny mouths! Nice work!

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