Why use a confocal microscope?
The most important feature of a confocal microscope is the capablity of isolating and collecting a plane of focus from within a sample, thus eliminating the out of focus “haze” normally seen with a fluorescent sample. Fine detail is often obscured by the haze and cannot be detected in a non-confocal, fluorescent microscope. The confocal microscope has a stepper motor attached to the fine focus, enabling the collection of a series of images through a three dimensional object. These images can then be used for a two or three dimensional reconstruction. Double and triple labels can be collected with a confocal microscope. Since these images are collected from an optical plane within the sample, precise colocalizations can be performed. A plane of focus within a specimen is defined by the optics of the microcope. In a fluorescent microscope a small part of a sample may be in focus but you look at the entire object (i.e. you view what is in focus as well as what is out of focus). With the c