Turner Designs' Picofluor portable fluorometer
The "smaller is better" technology revolution that has spawned fields such as microfluidics and products such as 1,564-well microplates has also inspired development of convenient, pocket-size lab instruments. Turner Designs Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., has introduced two handheld fluorometers: the Picofluor for life science measurements and the Aquafluor for on-the-spot environmental determinations.

The Picofluor is a lightweight, handheld fluorometer, configurable for many fluorescence probes. Small in size but big in utility, Picofluor provides UV or visible light sources with two preconfigured channels for different fluorescent signals. The instrument accommodates 10x10 mm plastic cuvettes as well as a Minicell (75-250 µl) adapter for smaller volumes. Picofluor can measure fluorescent probes such as Molecular Probes' NanoOrange® (protein), PicoGreen® (double-stranded DNA), and RiboGreen® (RNA); it can also excite UV fluorophores and detect Hoechst 33258 staining of DNA for template quantification. The unit can...

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