The mechanical stage of a microscope is the mechanism mounted on stage that holds and moves the microscope slide.
This is an integral part of the microscope as it improves the function of the stage. This facilitates the specimen’s precise movement through the field of view or the specimen area that can be seen through the microscope.
Microscope Club has said that the mechanical stage of a microscope is classified based on the functionality and design depending on the specific type of microscope used. Some stages include:
- Simple stage with an attachable mechanical stage
- X-Y transitional mechanical stage
- Circular stage with an optional mechanical attachment
Parts of the Mechanical Stage of a Microscope
The mechanical stage of a microscope is made up of several important parts including the following:
- Stage opening – Light passes through this part to get a better view of the specimen.
- Slide holder – This is the mechanical used to hold the slide in proper place for it to be easily removed back and forth and side to side.
- Graduated locator markings – The graduations are placed on the part of the mechanical stage to let the user take note of the location of the important details of the specimen. In such cases, the user can go back to the area easily for more observation.
- Stage lock control – This locking control lets the user fix the stage to the position according to the rotation surrounding the condenser axis.
Why is It Important to Use the Mechanical Stage of a Microscope?
Using the mechanical stage of a microscope is important in order to get a clearer and better view of the specimen. Thanks to this, using the microscope becomes so much simpler and easier. This allows controlling the slide better as well as avoiding any accidental bumping which can knock the slide out of focus.
It also allows the slide to be systematically scanned to view the entire specimen. Another notable benefit of the use of the mechanical stage of a microscope is its usage at a higher magnification because through this, the slide that contains the specimen could be moved in opposite directions and small increments.
It is a must to make sure that the mechanical stage has been cleaned properly so that there won’t be any accumulation of specimen drops as well as other dirt. It is because any accumulated dirt might affect the mechanical stage and its smooth movement.
The beginnings of the microscope were pretty humble before the existence of the mechanical stage. The existence of the microscope scanning stage on the movable platform was proven to be very useful. This is why it is very common in all modern microscopes, from the lesser known brands to the top manufacturers.
Thanks to this, there is no longer a need for users to touch specimens during observations because it will be easy to move them along the movable pattern.
As the mechanics of the stage was meant to move slowly, this was made for studies of the specimen and intense observations. It paved way for better and improved microscopy.