Fluorescence Microscopy of Live Cells

Content & Learning Objective

This course provides you with the background knowledge that is required to confidently use a fluorescence microscope to observe living cells. You learn how to choose the right filter set, how to change the florescent lamp, how to adjust the lighting, and how to optimally set the microscope to minimize the risk of stressing or contaminating your samples.

The theoretical part includes:

Basics of fluorescence microscopy

  • Setting up a fluorescence microscope
  • Fluorescence filters, lenses, and light sources
  • Choosing the right fluorescence filters for multiple fluorescent stains
  • Suitable laboratory items and surfaces
  • Methods for staining and marking live cells
  • Analytical methods that avoid altering physiological conditions

The practical part comprises:

  • Using a fluorescence microscope
  • Correct use of fluorescence filters and objective lenses
  • Optimally setting the microscope to observe living cells
  • Correctly choosing filters for multiple fluorescent stains
  • Staining live cells
  • Observation of bleaching effects
  • Analysis of live cells

Target Group

Technical and scientific staff wishing to extend their knowledge of fluorescence microscopy and live cell analysis


Associate professor Dr. Rüdiger Arnold  teaches at the University of Heidelberg as a lecturer in several life science education programs. Dr. Arnold studied biology in Giessen and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max - Planck - Institute of Physiology and Clinical Research in Bad Nauheim. Afterwards he joined the German Cancer Research Center and habilitated at the medical faculty of the Ruprecht-Karls - University of Heidelberg in immunology where he worked in the area of activation, differentiation, and apoptosis in leukocytes and lymphoma. Between 2011 and 2015 he headed the student research laboratory of the Heidelberg Life - Science Lab at the German Cancer Research Center.

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