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UltraBright UV transilluminator

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UltraBright UV transilluminator

Postby swing0916 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:08 am

This month our lab bought an UV transilluminator from [spammers]. which product is called UltraBright UV transilluminator. When I first used it today, I cannot see the lamp anymore when turned on. Also, I found the image quality of DNA bands is great and they show a data about their UltraSafe UV shield for gel cutting. I think this product is a good one in the market. Just wanna share with all.
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Postby JackBean » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:32 am

what you mean with the lamp on?
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Re:

Postby swing0916 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:49 am

JackBean wrote:what you mean with the lamp on?


I mean when turn on the power of UV transilluminator, the light-on lamp of 302 nm or 365 nm cannot be seen. Normally, I will see the UV lamp when light on for most of the UV transilluminators, including the old one in our lab.
There is a picture I found on their website. You can check it.
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Postby canalon » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:35 pm

OK this just mean that the now undisclosed manufacturer of said transilluminator is either having a UV lamp with very well defined peak emission purely in the UV range or that it has a wonderful quartz filter that make sure that only the UV go through. Nice but dangerous if you want my opinion because it can stay, unprotected w/o anyone noticing while the UV will still damage eyes and skin. And I am not sure if it will improve the results a lot compared to a nice filter.
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Re: UltraBright UV transilluminator

Postby swing0916 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:31 pm

I used a photospectrometer to check the spectrum at UV lamp and black glass positions, and found there is visible light emitted from the lamps. When the lights go through the black glass filter, there is nearly only UV rays transmitted. I guess it's why the image of DNA bands is with a better contrast. Other UV transilluminators may have a black glass that allows partial visible light to go through. Therefore we can see the lamps when power on. Your opinion about safety is helpful to me. Thank you. I will suggest our personnels to watch out the power button and obey an operation instruction. There is a metal frame with UltraSafe UV shield above the black glass. I think it is important for gel cutting.
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Postby canalon » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:43 pm

As you point out, they seem to have a very good filter, rather than special light bulbs, which is probaly the best way to go anyway. But I wonder how much value it adds to the products, considering that the top filter will remove it anyway. Probably mostly convenient when you cut the gel. But I have seen some companies manufacturing orange safety glasses, so the filter is right where you need it when you need it :)
And the safest use is to have a blue light (many manufacturer) than will work so so with EtBr, but very well with the SYBR family of dyes and maybe others. Added advantage, no danger for the user and do not damage DNA.
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Postby swing0916 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:28 pm

If you look at EtBr's excitation and emission spectrum, it is found the absorption is strongest near 300 nm. It is why most people use 302 nm UV to illuminate EtBr and cut bands. But you can see there is also absorption at 470~500 nm of EtBr which means if the intensity is high enough, the fluorescence is acceptable. 470~500 nm is blue spectrum, and many manufacturers use blue LEDs to make LED transilluminators to excite safe dyes. I used some of the LED transilluminators and the result is as you said so so for EtBr but wonderful for safe dyes. I tried UltraBright LED transilluminator and found the sensitivity for EtBr is a little bit better but acceptable. Maybe sensitivity 2~5 ng is enough for EtBr since only rare people need to observe less than 10 ng.
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Postby JackBean » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:59 pm

I agree with canalon, that making it invisible to naked eyes is actually more dangerous
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Postby swing0916 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:29 am

There are not so many LED transilluminators in market. I think LED visible light is much safer than UV. This is a video I found yesterday about [some] LED transilluminator.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjqBlxcQBds
Last edited by canalon on Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Cut the spam, will ya?
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Re: UltraBright UV transilluminator

Postby canalon » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:03 am

Any visible light is safer than UV. LED or fluorescent light. LED are just cheaper to run. And honestly in this case the difference is minimal.
The claim that the filter is easier than the glasses is subject to discussion, as it still goes in your way, and might have some annoying reflections (you can see that in the video), but the strong frame is a good idea.

So nothing ground breaking.
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Postby swing0916 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:55 am

Many researchers told me in US this instrument of UltraBright LED transilluminator is quite different from others like SafeImager or DarkReader and they don't like to wear amber glasses to cut gel. Canalon said the difference is minimal. I am interested in these different opinions.
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Postby JackBean » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:09 am

if you use EtBr, you can't much get rid of the UV, can you? So, in such a case, it's for sure better to have also some VIS to know, that it's actually ON.
If you use other dye, then you can of course use some illuminator using only VIS, but that's the point of other dyes.
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