In microscopy, it is sometimes necessary to have a stable temperature while taking data. If you are using an oil immersion objective, then the thermal contact of the objective to the oil and the oil to your slide can cause temperature gradients in your sample. This is not a very good scenario for some experiments as is the case for the ones I do. One can stabilize the temperature of a sample by stabilizing the temperature of the objective or, by trying to stabilize the temperature of the room that your microscope is in. While the latter is not very ideal, a stabilized temperature controller that heats up an objective is doable.
As with most things in the world of science, a complete out of the box solution comes at a premium. This Instructable shows how I assembled a temperature controller for our objective with relatively cost effective parts. Another description for how I made this setup can be found in my Open Notebook Science Dissertation
This build relies heavily on the work done by:
Mahamdeh, M., & Schäffer, E. (2009). Optical tweezers with millikelvin precision of temperature-controlled objectives and base-pair resolution
. Optics Express
, 17(19), 17190. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.017190.
As was suggested in the comments below, I'd like to add in this step how my interactions went with using TeTech during this build. As any scientist/researcher will know, companies that sell scientific equipment can be difficult to deal with at times. This was not the case when I was dealing with the customer support with TeTech. They were always informative and responsive and were willing to lend advice when ever I spoke to them or asked questions. They are by far one of my all star companies that I actually enjoy dealing with and would greatly recommend purchasing items from them to anyone.
If you would like to site this build in a publication, you can use the following citation
Maloney A, Herskowitz LJ, & Koch SJ (2011) Effects of Surface Passivation on Gliding Motility Assays
. PLoS ONE, 6(6): e19522. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019522