SECTION 1 THE BASICS
What is a haemocytometer --> FLASH animation

What does it do? --> FLASH animation
The main features --> FLASH animation
Preparing the cells --> FLASH animation
Viewing the cells under a microscope --> FLASH animation
Quiz

SECTION 2 COUNTING THE CELLS

TITLE: VIEWING UNDER A MICROSCOPE

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When using a microscope always focus and locate any specimen using a low power lens first. Remembering that the haemocytometer is thicker than a normal microscope slide so be careful so not to damage the lens or the slide.

Under low power (such as a 4x objective) you should see a whole grid on a standard haemacytometer. The grid is divided into 9 squares, like a noughts and crosses grid. Each square is 1 mm in dimension so has a surface area of 1 mm square. The depth of the chamber remember is 0.1 mm, so the volume under each square is 0.1 mm cubed, and under the whole grid is 0.9 mm-cubed.

Under the microscope, what you will notice is that the main (the noughts and crosses grid) contains different smaller divisions. These help with counting cells of different sizes, e.g. using the large 9 square grid for large cells or the smaller central grid for small cells such as microbes. Suspensions should be dilute enough so that cells do not overlap or clump together and affect the accuracy of your counting, but they should not be over dilute too as this will effect your accuracy. Aim for approximately 100 cells per count for a good measurement.

 

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