Advice on densitometry

Rich Miller millerr at
Mon Aug 21 15:24:36 EST 1995

I need some advice on instrumentation for quantitation of autoradiograms. 
We've been using an 8-year old Molecular Dynamics laser densitometer, and 
it's now broken and in need of expensive repair.  We're thinking of 
replacing it with a new densitometer.  We mostly do autoradiograms of 1-D 

1.  It seems to me that the easiest (and cheapest) alternative is to buy 
a grey-scale scanner that can create computer-readable TIF or BMP files, 
and then use an image analysis program (like SigmaGel?) to convert the 
density values to area-under-curve or volume measures?  But I don't know 
enough about the physics or the scanning system to know if I'll get 
accurate quantitation with the approach: will the numbers in the TIF or 
BMP files be well calibrated with the density in the original image?

2.  Do you have any specific recommendations about advantages or 
disadvantages for specific scanners?

3.  Do you have any recommendations about dedicated densitometry systems?

Any advice appreciated.  You can reply to millerr at

More information about the Immuno mailing list