Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is an analytical technique usually applied
to biological and medical samples. It is used to produce high resolution in-focus
three dimensional images of thick sections by targeted fluorescence. Trichomes held
in amber fluoresce in the far red range whereas amber fluoresces in the ultraviolet.
This allows the trichomes to be resolved easily from the amber by CLSM. Samples of
amber from two regions were selected for analysis. Baltic amber (Eocene) is well known
for its trichome inclusions which have, in the past, been used as a diagnostic feature
of that amber. Mexican amber (Middle Miocene) from Simijovel, Chiapas, Mexico also
contains abundant trichomes. Samples of amber from both these locations were successfully
imaged and re-constructed in 3D using CLSM. This technique enables detailed analysis
of the trichome structure without damaging the sample.