Opinions needeed about phosphoimagers

Bill Melchior wmelchior at ntet.nctr.fda.gov
Wed Jun 23 17:06:26 EST 1993

In article <kvist.17.740818894 at lbiok-1.oulu.fi>, 
kvist at lbiok-1.oulu.fi (Ari-Pekka Kvist) writes:
> We are planning to buy phosphoimager apparatus to our lab but we 
> don't know yet which one. If you have any experiences about those 
> machines I would be very happy to hear them. Is Molecular Dynamics
> better than BioRad? Is there some new machines coming? How sensitive 
> they REALLY are (does C-labeling work)?....

I do not have personal experience, but users here are very happy with our 
Molecular Dynamics machine, and things should get even better with a new 
software package due soon.  (During the setup demonstration, we ran a 35S 
sequencing gel that gave a good image.  So 14C should also work well.)
We have no experience with other phosphor imagers.  Another lab here has a 
multiwire scanner (BetaScan, or some similar name); the users there claim 
to be happy with it, but the MD users suspect that the phosphor imager is 
a superior approach.  I know absolutely nothing about the BioRad or 
Millipore machines, except I THINK I remember that neither of them will 
accept plates as large as the Molecular Dynamics.

Packard has a new machine (the InstantImager) which will should out soon if
it isn't already.  It uses multiwire detection, but the sensitivity is
supposedly greatly increased by putting a multichannel plate between the
sample and the grid.  The ad I saw suggests a 60-fold increase in
sensitivity over a phosphor imager.  I haven't seen a machine, but saw a
seminar presented by one of the beta testers, and he seemed to have good
data.  You may want to inquire about it also.  (I've been told that it
should be considerably cheaper, though perhaps prices of the other machines
will fall when competition picks up?) 

I have no connection with any of the companies mentioned.
Views expressed are not necessarily those of NCTR, its sponsoring agencies,
or the United States government.

Bill Melchior                                ||    
National Center for Toxicological Research   ||    ALL statements
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