Using HP scanjet as densitometer

Stephen R. Lasky Stephen_Lasky at
Thu Jun 16 08:46:30 EST 1994

In article <gkrause.33.0028B039 at>, gkrause at
(Gary Krause) wrote:

> I have seen occasionl references to using a commercial flat-bed scanner, such 
> as a Hewlett-Packard Scanjet IIsx, as a densitometer.  I do a lot of 
> autoradiography and Western blotting and would like a relatively inexpensive 
> densitometer.  Hardware and software recommendations are most welcome.  
> Positive or negative experiences also sought.  Thanks everyone.

We have an HPScanJet IIcx/T that we use for that purpose.  It works very
nicely, but you really need the backlit cover to scan films.  You should
also probably pre-flash your film and do several different exposures in
order to be sure you are in a linear exposure range.  We use the NIH Image
software to analyze the scans.  That program is a little cluggy
(cumbersome) if you don't use it often, but once you get used to it, it
works fine.  I believe that this is the same as or very similar to the
analysis program that comes with the Molec. Dyn. phosphorimager (think that
I saw that in this group).  There are several other analysis programs out
there as well.  I think that MacMeasure is one of them (if you have a mac,
don't know about IBM prgms).  If you need more info you can contact me or
John_Morgan at

BTW, having a scanner also makes it easy to set up the graphics around a
film for  slides or for publications.
Stephen R. Lasky, Ph.D.       Brown University/Roger Williams Medical
e-mail: Stephen_Lasky at         LandLine: 401-456-6572
America may be unique in being a country which has leapt from barbarism to
decadence without touching civilization:  John O'Hara

More information about the Methods mailing list