Note: this is a continuing post on a strange flower I had stumbled upon – if you have not seen the earlier post; try taking a look here first.
Lookin at an organism with the help of the same organism.
This is going to be a cyclic post. We are going to use a biological organism to study itself. What I mean by that – is I will use a flower petal as a diffuser in the foldscope to image its own cells and figure out why it makes for such a great diffuser. I am already smiling – just thinking about it.
First; here is the demonstration to show why you need to think carefully and put together your illumination unit. It’s always valuable to compare – and that’s why Foldscope has a very open, modular structure. The image below is the same flower petal imaged with and without a diffuser between the LED light and the sample (on the bottom side of the Foldscope).
To the left is flower petal cells (buttercup) where I did not use any diffuser between the LED and the same. On the right – I played a clever trick – where I use tw flower petal itself as a diffuser. This is what the diffuser looks like.
Now; you can use many different type of diffusers like a simple tissue paper or diffusion tape (by 3M). The “invisible magic tape” by 3M is a nice diffuser. But the flower petal is a even better diffuser. This reduces chromatic aberrations significantly and you see internal skeletal structures inside the cells; that are completely invisible in the first image.
Now; I was able to setup a time lapse on my foldscope and also watch these curved cells pop as a function of time. Here is a 8 sec movie where every frame was taken every 5 min and run for 2hrs.
Now; I am also excited about finding stomata on flower petals. I did not think about this before; but all flower petals seem to have some degree of stomata. If you have some insight on function of stomata on flower petals – please do drop a note below.
I have also noticed that over time; a lot of moisture actually collects on the petals themselves. They themselves act as little lenses.
“How does buttercup light up your chin”
So; next time you are Foldscoping – think about your illumination and never shy away from optimizing your illumination.