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The Gel Doc EZ™ system from Bio-Rad Laboratories was previously ranked by The Scientist as one of the “Top 10 Innovations of 2010” and has now been nominated by SelectScience members to enter the final voting stage for the Scientist’s Choice Award for Best Life Science Product, 2010.

We encourage you to vote for your favorite product by visiting the Scientist’s Choice Awards voting form. Please note that that in order to vote you must be a current working scientist, and may only vote once (duplicate votes will be disqualified).

Below is a description of the Gel Doc EZ system some of the reasons why it was nominated for the product of the year award.

The Gel Doc EZ system provides publication-quality images and analysis in seconds — with just the push of a button. The automated push-button functionality eliminates the need for researchers to manually manipulate filters, lenses, or lighting.

The imager allows the use of multiple application-specific trays, including a UV tray for imaging fluorescent stains such as ethidium bromide, a white tray for imaging colorimetric stains such as Coomassie blue, and a blue tray for imaging green fluorescent dyes.

The Gel Doc EZ imager is also the only gel documentation system capable of imaging stain-free gels. When researchers use the stain-free tray for imaging proteins separated by electrophoresis on Bio-Rad’s Criterion® TGX Stain-Free™ precast gels, staining protocols shrink from hours down to a five-minute activation and imaging process.

“Many labs stain gels with Coomassie Blue on a daily basis as part of their protein analysis experimental workflow,” said Brad Crutchfield, Vice President and Life Science Group Manager of Bio-Rad. “Imagine a technology that saves them hours every time they need to stain and image a protein gel. First, researchers can digitally image and analyze their samples with the same ease as a point-and-shoot consumer camera. Second, by using the stain-free feature, researchers can shave staining protocols from hours to five minutes.”

The key ingredient is a tri-halo compound incorporated into the Criterion TGX Stain-Free gels. After electrophoresis, the gel is subjected to UV irradiation in the Gel Doc EZ imager to activate a covalent reaction between the tri-halo compound and tryptophan residues. The resultant tryptophan adduct, which is fluorescent when excited by the same UV source, is then automatically imaged.

Anyone interested in rapid protein visualization in polyacrylamide gels (no staining, destaining or fiddling with imaging system settings necessary), should also see our previous post on A Revolutionary Tool for 5 Minute Protein Visualization and Analysis

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