Course: BIOEN 498: Special Topics – Contemporary Light Microscopy and Biophotonics

BIOEN 498: Special Topics – Contemporary Light Microscopy and Biophotonics Laboratory

Credits: 3; 1 for the laboratory option

Instructor: Paul Wiggins

Texts and Supplemental Materials: No textbook required.  References include “Optics” by Eugene Hecht, “Video Microscopy” by Shinya Inoue and Kenneth R Spring

UW Catalog Description:  Special Topics – Topics of current interest in the field, offered as lectures, conferences, or laboratory.

Instructor description: Light microscopy plays a central role in cell biology and new microscopy techniques continue to offer cutting-edge insights into biological systems. This course will teach both the practical as well as the theoretical underpinnings of light microscopy.

Prerequisites by Course:

Prerequisites by Topic:

Required or Elective: Elective

Outcomes Addressed by this Course: Light microscopy plays a central role in cell biology and new microscopy techniques continue to offer cutting-edge insights into biological systems. This course will teach both the practical as well as the theoretical underpinnings of light microscopy. Topics will include the physics of light, physiology of the eye, the physics of CCDs and PMTs, bright field, phase contrast, dark field, polarizing, DIC, optical trapping, fluorescence, TIRF, FRET, confocal, and super-resolution microscopy. Quantitative imaging and image processing will also be discussed. A lab, consisting of a practical course on how to build a microscope will also be offered to a limited number of students. Lab participants will break into small groups to build a specialized microscope to investigate a specific biological question using microscopy.

As such, this course contributes to student competency in the following learning outcomes:

A. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.

K. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

L. An understanding of biology and physiology.

M. The capability to apply advanced mathematics (including differential equations and statistics), science, and engineering to solve the problems at the interface of engineering and biology

Topics Covered:

  1. Physics and propagation of light
  2. Geometrical optics
  3. Microscopy
  4. Diffraction
  5. Fourier optics
  6. Mechanisms of contrast
  7. Fluorescence
  8. Light detection
  9. Single molecule techniques
  10. Image processing

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