MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: why are coverslips used in a wet mount

Date: Sun Oct 1 21:35:32 2000
Posted By: Sanjida Rangwala, Admin, MadSci Network
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 970443979.Cb

Crystal, If you're going to be tested on this, you really should have the answer somewhere in your class notes. The simple answer is to prevent the specimen from moving around -- to keep it in place, squished between two pieces of glass. A coverslip also prevents the delicate lens of the microscope from crashing into your sample and getting all dirty in case you make a mistake while focusing and bring the lens down too far. If you're doing oil immersion, it's also a surface for spreading the oil on, otherwise you'd have to put it directly on the lens (messy) or the sample (even messier and not as effective). I can't think of any other practical uses for a coverslip off the top of my head. Hope this gets there in time, Sanjida

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