L-Glutamaic Acid by Polarized Light Microscopy
L-Glutamaic Acid is an alpha-amino acid which is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It contains three groups, which include an alpha amino group, an alpha-carboxylic acid group and a side chain carboxylic acid; this makes it a polar negatively charged aliphatic amino acid. It is considered a non-essential amino acid as in humans the body can synthesis this amino acid.
Within the body, it serves a number of key roles in metabolism, as a neurotransmitter and a nutrient to name a few.
How it was done:
A small amount of Glutamaic acid was placed within a water solution and mixed until it dissolved. This solution was then placed on a concave microscope slide and put within an oven at around 80 Degrees C and left to evaporate. As the water evaporated from the solution the glutamic acid began to recrystallize and was ready for imaging.
The image was then captured using my normal polarized microscopy setup, which included;
- Nikon D5300 DSLR
- Radical RXL-4T Microscope
- Geology polarizing retrofit
- Trinamic stepper motor controller and stepper motor
- Helicon remote & focus
- Adobe Lightroom CC
Because the depth of field is relatively small, some images did require focus stacking which is where Helicon Remote & Focus came into the picture (pardon the pun).