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Biotium’s New Laser Diode Gel Illuminator Offers a Superior Alternative to LED and UV-Based Illumination

Eight gels, four with dyed with GelRed® and four with GelGreen®, imaged with UV, Safe Imager™, Blue LED or Gel-Bright™.

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Biotium announces the release of the next-generation Gel-Bright™ Laser Diode Gel Illuminator. In partnership with Biotium, light and optics instrumentation company OMEC Medical developed the gel illuminator to offer a better alternative to UV and LED-based gel imaging. The Gel-Bright™ Laser Diode Gel Illuminator features a novel laser diode-based illumination technology that offers exceptional performance for a wide selection of fluorescent dyes and does not require laser safety glasses. The gel illuminator delivers significantly improved sensitivity for red dyes over blue LED illuminators, as well as improved performance for imaging green dyes over UV transilluminators.


Gel illuminators have traditionally relied on UV illumination for visualization of fluorescently labeled nucleic acids and proteins. However, UV-based illumination can damage a user’s skin and eyes, as well as their DNA samples. LED-based illuminators were developed as a safer alternative to UV. However, LED illuminators often have high background and dim signal due to excessive ambient light and poor excitation efficiency. Specifically, widely used blue LED gel illuminators are poorly optimized for excitation of red DNA dyes such as GelRed® and ethidium bromide (EtBr).


In close partnership with Biotium scientists, OMEC Medical developed the new Gel-Bright™ to offer sensitive gel imaging for both green and red dyes without relying on hazardous UV light. The incorporation of laser diodes enables stronger and more focused illumination, allowing brighter and more efficient excitation for a wide range of fluorescent dyes. As a result, the Gel-Bright™ Laser Diode Gel Illuminator offers better sensitivity over UV-based transilluminators when imaging green dyes such as GelGreen® or SYBR® Green/SYBR® Safe, as well as significantly better performance over blue LED gel illuminators for red dyes such as GelRed®, ethidium bromide (EtBr), and One-Step Lumitein™ Protein Gel Stain.


The Gel-Bright™ Laser Diode Gel Illuminator contains 12 laser diodes that are positioned at an optimal angle for consistent and uniform illumination of the gel. Safety glasses are not required because the amount of laser light that could enter the eye’s pupil is below the CDRH limits. In addition, an adjustable multi-hinged amber filter provides optimal signal-to-noise and can be moved into a lower position for gel imaging, or a higher position for easy access when excising bands. With convenience in mind, the gel illuminator also has a compact and portable design for easy transport and minimizing occupied space on benchtops.


Each purchase of a Gel-Bright™ Laser Diode Gel Illuminator will include a free sample of GelRed® Agarose LE and GelGreen® Agarose LE. These are safer and more convenient pre-coated agarose formats that remove the extra step of adding dye to your agarose. A Gel-Bright™ Imaging Hood, which is a fitted enclosure for convenient imaging with your cell phone or tablet, will be offered as an optional accessory at a later date. Please visit the product page to learn more about the new Gel-Bright™ Laser Diode Gel Illuminator.


Features and benefits of the Gel-Bright™ Laser-Diode Gel Illuminator

  • Novel laser diode illumination: Superior performance for imaging fluorescent gels
  • Brighter signal: More sensitive than UV transilluminators for green dyes
  • Versatile: Works well with both green and red dyes, unlike blue LED illuminators
  • Safer: Eliminates UV light hazards for user and DNA samples

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