Nicatonic Acid by Polarized Light Microscopy


Nicatonic acid, which is also known as both Vitamin B3 or Niacin is an organic compound which has the formula C6H5NO2 and is one of the estimated 20 to 80 human nutrients which are essential to life. From a pharmaceutical perspective, supplemental Nicatonic acid is usually used to treat high cholesterol or vitamin B3 deficiency. It is also used within the body throughout a range of metabolic processes functioning as a precursor to NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and NAPD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) which are involved in catabolism of fat, cell signaling and DNA repair.


How it was done:

The melting point of Nicatonic acid is fairly low (at 237 Degrees C), because of this lower temperature a small amount was placed on a concave microscope slide and passed through a bunsen burner flame in a fume cupboard until it had melted. The slide was progressively passed through the flame being careful not to either burn the Nicatonic acid, or break the slide. Once the acid had melted it was left to cool and re-solidify.

The image was then captured using my normal polarized microscopy setup, which included;

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).


Images: (Click to enlarge)

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