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  3. Gel doc systems for chemiluminescence and flourescence imaging of nucleic acid gels and western blots; select models include transilluminatorGel Imaging Systems Features Overview
    Analytik Jena UVP GelStudio DNA Gel Documentation System Series in Touch and Plus Touch models

    Wavelength Channel Special Features Voltage Camera Resolution Application Analytik Jena UVP ChemStudio Analytik Jena UVP GelStudio Analytik Jena UVP GelSolo Analytik Jena UVP ColonyDoc-It Analytik Jena UVP ChromaDoc-It Analytik Jena UVP MultiDoc-It Analytik Jena UVP DigiDoc-It Analytik Jena UVP PhotoDoc-It

    What is a Gel Imager? (Gel Documentation Systems)

    Laboratory gel imagers, or gel documentation systems, are used by research labs to visualize and photo-document nucleic acid samples separated through gel electrophoresis, count microbial colonies, separate protein samples on western blots, and identify mixtures through thin layer chromatography (TLC).

    How Does a Gel Imager or Gel Documentation System Work?

    Gel imagers, or gel docs, contain an ultraviolet (UV) or visible (blue or white) transilluminator, a hood to block the samples from external light sources and a high-resolution camera for image capture.

    Gel Imager Procedure

    The samples, loaded onto agarose gels, petri dishes or TLC films, are placed onto the transilluminator surface. After the access doors are closed to prevent operator exposure to UV light, the lamp is powered on and the samples are photo-documented through the CCD or CMOS camera. Images are saved to the onboard software system for easy retrieval or export to Microsoft Excel or LIMS.

    Where Are Gel Imagers Used?

    Common in molecular biology, genomics, proteomics and microbiology labs, gel imaging systems support PCR segment identification, DNA quantification, bacterial cell culture, environmental sample testing and protein separation.

    A - Gel Imager Wavelength Channels
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    Gel imagers contain transilluminators that emit ultraviolet light or visible light for visualization of fluorescent and chemiluminescent samples or counting bacterial colonies. The UV or visible light bandwidth emitted by the transilluminator must match the absorbance spectrum of the fluorescent dye used during gel separation, blotting or thin layer chromatography.

    Blue light, emitted at 470 nanometers, is optimal for colony counting or viewing samples stained with commercial dyes such as SYBR Green, SYBR Gold or SYBR Safe.

    For UV visualization, 254 nanometer light is optimal for DNA cross-linking, 302 nanometer light is ideal for short exposure gels stained with Ethidium Bromide, and 365 nanometer light is best for gel band cutting.

    B - Gel Imager Uses and Applications
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    B1 - DNA Gels

    Nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) samples are loaded onto an agarose or acrylamide gel and exposed to an electrical field, causing the negatively-charged samples to travel down the gel toward the positive electrode. Smaller DNA or RNA fragments travel faster than longer fragments, allowing researchers to identify fragments tagged with fluorescent dyes to excise the samples for further purification. DNA gels are commonly used for PCR analysis, cloning, and next generation sequencing.

    B2 - Protein Gels

    Protein samples are loaded onto a polyacrylamide gel submerged in a commercially available buffer Tris-Glycene or Tris-Acetate– Tris-Glycene or Tris-Acetate – for separation and purification. Similar to DNA gels, protein fragments of varying lengths migrate at different speeds through the gel matrix. Protein gels are used for mass spectrometry, sample denaturing, and blotting.

    B3 - Colony Counting

    Colony counting is the process of determining the number of microbial colony forming units (CFUs) present within the optimal growth conditions of a petri dish loaded with cell media.

    What Is A Colony Forming Unit?

    Each colony forming unit represents a gross estimate of the number of homogenous, viable cells growing on the plate. Colony counting is used to detect and quantify microbes in soil, water or food samples as well as identify unique cell lines for microbial cell culture research.

    B4 - Thin Layer Chromatography

    Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a research technique used to separate the components of a mixture using a thin film supported by an inert backing. As the mixture moves through the column, or stationary phase, its components will migrate at different speeds based on their affinity to the column or solvent (mobile phase). Common stationary phases include silica gel, cellulose, and aluminum oxide. Common mobile phases include methanol, acetic acid, and ethyl acetate. TLC is used to quantify and qualify many substances, including lipids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and pesticides.

    B5 - Southern and Western Blot Gel

    Western blotting gels, used to separate proteins for further isolation and purification, come in two primary forms: native gels and SDS-PAGE gels. Native gels, used to study enzyme or protein complexes, separate proteins based on size and ionic charge. SDS-PAGE gels, used to study antibody affinity, separate proteins based on size by denaturing the samples using the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS).

    Southern blotting gels, used to separate DNA fragments from blood or tissue samples using restriction enzyme digestion, come in two primary forms: polyacrylamide (PAGE) gels with urea and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) gels with urea.

    C - Gel Imager Camera Resolution
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    Gel imagers with cameras include CCD or CMOS cameras with resolutions from 5 megapixels to 17.9 megapixels. The megapixel number represents the quantity of individual points within an image. A camera with a higher pixel count produces images with higher resolution, greater sensitivity, and better image clarity.

    D - Gel Imager Voltage
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    120-volt connections are suitable for standard laboratory power outlets in the United States.

    208-volt or 240-volt connections, common in mainland Europe, require less current (amperage) and smaller conductors than equipment designed to operate at 120-volt.

    E - Special Gel Imager Features
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    E1 - Integral Printer

    Although most commercially-available gel imaging systems offer optional external printers.

    Analytik Jena’s UVP PhotoDoc-It systems include an integral printer for convenient printing of high-quality gel images.

    E2 - Side Access Door

    Analytik Jena’s GelStudio, GelSolo and MultiDoc-It imagers include side access doors for convenient loading and unloading of gels or culture plates.

    E3 - PLC Touchscreen Gel Imagers

    Analytik Jena’s ChemStudio, GelStudio and GelSolo imagers include integrated color touchscreens for filter and illumination control. Templates and macros, within the onboard software system, are programmable to support customized workflows.

    Where Can I Buy Laboratory Gel Imagers Online?

    Laboratory-Equipment.com is a specialty division of Terra Universal. For nearly 40 years, Terra Universal has served the life science, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device markets. Customers appreciate a worldwide network of reps, factory-direct support, and ready-to-ship items available from Terra's manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Fullerton, California.

    Shop a wide selection of laboratory gel imagers and gel documentation systems for a wide variety of applications including general laboratory, research, PCR, DNA/RNA techniques, ELISA, protein analysis, and cell culture.

    Contact a Laboratory-equipment.com specialist through web chat, email, or phone for pricing or a same-day quote.

    Shop Gel Imagers by Style

    Colony Counting

    DNA Gels

    DNA/ Protein Gels

    Gel and Blot Imager

    Thin Layer Chromatograph

    UV Gel Documentation

    Shop Gel Imagers By Compatible Stains

    Ethidium Bromide

    Green Fluorescent Stains

    UV Stains

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  4. Blue light and UV transilluminators compatible with Accuris and Analytik Jena gel imaging systems. Select models in stock. Call to request a product demo.Gel Transilluminators Features Overview
    Laboratory gel imaging systems

    Air Lock Capacity HEPA/ULPA Filtration  Temperature Control Vacuum Control Stainless Steel Design Configurations Humidity/Moisture Control Analytik Jena UVP Benchtop Analytik Jena UVP FirstLight Accuris SmartDoc 2.0 Accuris SmartBlue

    Laboratory transilluminators,or gel light boxes, are used by life science labs to visualize DNA, RNA or protein samples separated through gel electrophoresis.

    What is a Lab Transilluminator?

    Lab transilluminators contain an ultraviolet (UV) or visible (blue or white) light source, glass viewing surface, UV-blocking or amber filter cover.

    How Does a Lab Transilluminator Work?

    The transilluminator emits UV or visible light at a specified wavelength onto the glass viewing surface (where the agarose or polyacrylamide gel is placed). Transilluminators may be used as stand-alone systems or in conjunction with gel documentation imagers.

    What Is a Lab Transilluminator Used For?

    Common in molecular biology, genomics, microbiology and drug development labs, transilluminators support PCR segment identification, DNA quantification and sample purification after restriction enzyme digestion.

    A - Transilluminator Wavelength Channels
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    Gel transilluminators emit ultraviolet light (254 nm, 302 nm and 365 nm) or visible light (465 nm) for visualization of fluorescent nucleic acid or protein samples. The UV or visible light wavelength emitted by the transilluminator must match the absorbance spectrum of the fluorescent dye used during gel separation.

    Blue light, emitted at 465 nanometers, is optimal for viewing samples stained with commercial dyes such as SYBR Green, SYBR Gold or GFP.

    UV Visualization Wavelength Channels

    254 nanometer light is optimal for DNA cross-linking, 302 nanometer light is ideal for short exposure gels stained with Ethidium Bromide, and 365 nanometer light is best for gel band cutting.

    B - Viewing Surface Dimensions
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    The Accuris Smart BlueCompact is a small footprint transilluminator with a 4” square viewing surface to save on benchtop space. Larger-footprint transilluminators, like UVP’s FirstLight, include a 14” x 11” viewing surface to visualize multiple gels during a single run.

    C - Light Source
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    C1 - Ultraviolet (UV) Light Transilluminators

    UV transilluminators include a 254 nm, 302 nm or 365 nm light excitation source for quantitative fluorescent imaging of DNA, RNA or protein samples.The backlit, 25-watt UV lamp emits high-output illumination for uniformity across the imaging surface and accurate gel-to-gel comparisons.

    Blue Light vs UV Illumination - Pros & Cons

    While UV illumination results in more precise imaging of gel bands than visual blue light, UV light carries a higher risk of sample damage (due to over-exposure) and worker injury. All operators using UV transilluminators must wear UV face shields and use UV-blocking surface covers while the unit is operating.

    C2 - Visible Light Transilluminators

    Light Transilluminators forNucleic Acid and Protein Gel Visualization

    Visible light transilluminators include an 8-watt bulb emitting blue light at 465 nanometers for visualization of nucleic acid or protein gels containing SYBR Green, SYBR Safe or GFP fluorescent dyes.

    Visible Light vs UV Light Illuminator Differences

    While visible light models demonstrate reduced uniformity and band clarity as compared to UV systems, they carry no risk of sample damage or operator exposure. Although visible light transilluminators represent an economical alternative to UV systems, they are less effective in visualizing Ethidium Bromide gels and performing accurate gel-to-gel comparisons.

    D - Transilluminator Voltage
    (back to chart)

    120-volt connections are suitable for standard laboratory power outlets in the United States.

    208-volt or 240-volt connections, common in mainland Europe, require less current (amperage) and smaller conductors than equipment designed to operate at 120-volt.

    E - Transilluminator Filter Cover
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    E1 - Amber For Visible Light Transilluminators

    Amber filter covers block blue light transmission to ensure high-quality, precise imaging of fluorescent dyes with emission wavelengths above 500 nm.

    E2 - Clear, UV-Blocking For UV Transilluminators

    Clear, UV-blocking filters prevent operator exposure while supporting sample visualization. UV blocking filters easily adjust for loading and unloading of gels.

    F - Transilluminator Light Intensity
    (back to chart)

    F1 - Single Intensity Transilluminators

    Single-light transilluminators are ideal for low-throughput research settings involving gel staining with a single fluorescent dye.

    F2 - Variable Intensity Transilluminators

    Variable light intensity transilluminators include low, medium and high settings for different applications. The low-intensity mode is optimal for gel positioning, multiple band excision, and sample imaging. The medium intensity mode is ideal for single-band excision. The high-intensity mode is best for low sample concentrations.

    G - Special Transilluminator Features
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    G1 - Smart Phone Compatibility

    The Accuris SmartDoc 2.0 system is compatible with smartphones and tablets to support the imaging of fluorescent gel stains. Each model includes an orange imaging filter to enhance sample clarity.

    G2 - Double or Triple UV Light Transilluminator Sources

    Analytik Jena’s UVP Benchtop Transilluminators include optional double or triple UV lamps for light emission at up to three separate, concurrent wavelengths: 254 nm, 302 nm, and 365 nm.

    Laboratory-Equipment.com is a specialty division of Terra Universal. For nearly 40 years, Terra Universal has served the life science, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device markets. Customers appreciate a worldwide network of reps, factory-direct support, and ready-to-ship items available from Terra's manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Fullerton, California.

    Shop a wide selection of UV and visible light illuminators online for a wide variety of applications including general laboratory, research, PCR, DNA/RNA techniques, ELISA, protein analysis, and cell culture.

    Contact a Laboratory-equipment.com specialist through web chat, email, or phone for pricing or a same-day quote.

    Shop Lab Illuminators by Model

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Gel Imager Features

Stand-alone UVP GelSolo Gel Documentation 5MP by Analytik Jena

UVP GelSolo with a transilluminator and UV-safe gel viewing window streamlines gel imaging and analysis with VisionWorks software; 11.6” touch screen

UVP 2UV Single Intensity Benchtop Transilluminator

UVP Transilluminators compatible with MultiDoc-It and PhotoDoc-It Imaging systems

GelMax Imager With Optional Visi-Blue Plate

Use the GelMax Imager to scan DNA and protein gels; includes software for rapid imaging with single-button image capture.

PhotoDoc-It UVP Imaging Systems

Select PhotoDoc-It Imaging Systems by UVP include a transilluminator, a 16-megapixel DigiCam 70 color camera and printer; converter plates and ink kits available

UVP ChemStudio Series Imaging Systems by Analytik Jena

UVP ChemStudio Western Blot Imagers for Chemiluminescence, Fluorescence, IR and Vis Fluorescence applications

Gel Imaging Systems

  • Accuris SmartBlue Blue Light Transilluminator for nucleic acid and DNA samples Accuris SmartBlue Blue Light Transilluminator
  • UVP BioDoc-It Imaging System Open Door BioDoc-It Imaging System
  • GelMax Imager With Optional Visi-Blue Plate GelMax Imager With Optional Visi-Blue Plate
Accuris SmartBlue Blue Light Transilluminator for nucleic acid and DNA samples
UVP BioDoc-It Imaging System Open Door
GelMax Imager With Optional Visi-Blue Plate

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