History of the Optical Microscope in Cell Biology and Medicine

Abstract

Advances in our understanding of cell biology are intimately connected with new optical microscopes and specimen preparation techniques. From the seventeenth century onward these technical advances impacted on the fields of cell biology and medicine, and sometimes these advances occurred reciprocally.

Keywords: cell biology; phase contrast; fluorescence; confocal; nonlinear microscope

Figure 1.

Microscope stand IV, No. 3207 manufactured by Oberhaeuser and Hartnack in Paris, France, in 1858. This microscope has a drum stand and polarizing equipment. This type of microscope was used by Rudolf Virchow in Berlin, Germany. All photos © by Timo Mappes, Karlsruhe (www.musoptin.com) and reproduced by permission.

Figure 2.

Microscope stand VIII, No. 4815 manufactured by Hartnack successor of Oberhaeuser in Paris, France, in 1864. This is the first microscope stand to show the horse‐shoe base. All photos © by Timo Mappes, Karlsruhe (www.musoptin.com) and reproduced by permission.

Figure 3.

Microscope stand II, No. 5272 manufactured by Carl Zeiss, Jena, Germany, in 1881. It is equipped with an Abbe condenser and a homogeneous immersion objective. Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Spain) and Robert Koch (Germany) used this type of microscope. All photos © by Timo Mappes, Karlsruhe (www.musoptin.com) and reproduced by permission.

Figure 4.

Microscope stand 2, No. 6194 manufactured by W&H Seibert, Wetzlar, Germany, in 1890. Robert Koch (Germany) used this type of microscope in his work. All photos © by Timo Mappes, Karlsruhe (www.musoptin.com) and reproduced by permission.

Figure 5.

Microscope stand I c, No. 37892 manufactured by Carl Zeiss, Jena, Germany, in 1903. The microscope stand is called the ‘jug handle’ stand and was in use from 1898 to 1920 and was copied by other microscope manufacturers. All photos © by Timo Mappes, Karlsruhe (www.musoptin.com) and reproduced by permission.

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Further Reading

Bradbury S (1989) Landmarks in biological light microscopy. Journal of Microscopy 155(3): 281–305.

Brock T (1961) Milestones in Microbiology. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology.

Brock TD (1988) Robert Koch, a Life in Medicine and Bacteriology. Madison, WI: Science Tech Publishers.

Clay RS and Court TH (1932) The History of the Microscope. London: Charles Griffin and Company, Limited.

Dobell C (1960) Anthony van Leeuwenhoek and his ‘Little animals’. New York: Dover Publications.

Ford BJ (1985) Single Lens, the Story of the Simple Microscope. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.

Hooke R (1665) Micrographia or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Enquires Thereupon. London. (Facsimile by Dover Publications, New York, 1961).

Kasten FH (1989) The Origins of Modern Fluorescence Microscopy and Fluorescence Probes. In: Kohen E and Hirschberg JG (eds) Cell Structure and Function by Microspectrofluorometry, pp. 3–50. San Diego: Academic Press.

Masters BR (1996) Selected Papers on Confocal Microscopy, Milestone Series MS 131. Bellingham, WA: SPIE Optical Engineering Press.

Masters BR (2003) Selected Papers on Multiphoton Excitation Microscopy, Milestone Series, MS175. Bellingham, WA: SPIE Optical Engineering Press.

Masters BR (2006) Confocal Microscopy and Multiphoton Excitation Microscopy: The Genesis of Live Cell Imaging. Bellingham, WA: SPIE Optical Engineering Press.

Masters BR (2007) Ernst Abbe and the Foundation of Scientific Microscopes, Optics and Photonics News. Washington, DC. Optical Society of America 18(2): 18–23.

Masters BR and So PTC (2004) The antecedents of two‐photon excitation laser scanning microscopy. Microscopy Research and Techniques 63: 3–11.

Masters BR and So PTC (2008) Handbook of Biomedical Nonlinear Optical Microscopy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ruestow EG (1996) The Microscope in the Dutch Republic, the Shaping of Discovery. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schmitz E‐H (1989) Handbuch Zur Geschichte Der Optik, Ergänzungsband II, Teil A, Das Mikroskop, Bonn, Verlag J.P. Wauenborgh.

Schmitz, E‐H (1990) Handbuch Zur Geschichte Der Optik, Ergänzungsband II, Teil B, Das Mikroskop, Bonn, Verlag J.P. Wauenborgh.

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How to Cite close
Masters, Barry R(Dec 2008) History of the Optical Microscope in Cell Biology and Medicine. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003082]