What is the most economical phosphorimager?

Tracy Aquilla aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu
Thu Dec 8 11:36:26 EST 1994

gilbertd at VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU (Dave Gilbert) wrote:
>I am a new investigator who requires the sensitivity (not necessarily the
>range) of a phosphorimager.  Many of my experiments are at the edge of
>detection, and the imager has in the past allowed me to perform experiments
>that would otherwise be impossible.  I am now in the position of convincing
>my new colleagues that it is worth pitching in to buy one, however,
>$100,000 takes a lot of convincing.  I have seen less expensive versions
>advertised.  For example, I have seen one advertised by BIO-RAD.  I am
>willing to give up some of the range of the MD imager, but I cannot
>compromise on the sensitivity.  Does anyone have any experience with the
>alternatives to the standard Molecular Dynamics and Fuji systems, or any
>experience with the less expensive MD imager?  Much obliged.
>Dave Gilbert
>Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
>SUNY Health Science Center
>750 E. Adams St.
>Syracuse, N.Y. 13210
>Tel:(315) 464-8723
>FAX:(315) 464-8750

I think the Bio-Rad imager is the most sensitive of the three mentioned, but
I'm no expert on this subject and I have no references to cite. This is
because of Bio-Rad's unique screen chemistry (strontium sulfide); these
screens can store the signal for a relatively long time, and have a much
slower rate of spontaneous discharging. This makes it possible to do long
exposures. From what I understand, the MD screens use a barium fluorobromide
phosphor, which has a short signal retention time due to spontaneous
discharging, and this prevents detection of very weak signals. If you need
the maximum sensitivity, get the Bio-Rad phosphorimager (I'm not affiliated,
but I like their imager).

Tracy Aquilla, Ph.D.
Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
University of Vermont
aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu

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