This page describes the shared equipment located throughout the department and provides information about operations, fees, and links to training resources. If you have questions or encounter equipment problems please email

Content:      Microplate reader          Typhoon Scanner

BMG LabTech CLARIOstar+ Microplate Reader

In MRB351:  A departmental CLARIOstar+ was acquired in August 2023 and is available for use in MRB 351. No formal training is available or needed prior to using it, but you will of course need to bring your own microplates. Below are some useful resource links and then a brief description of some of the highlights of this reader, including a few special features.

The instrument control software is called SMART Control and you run it by clicking the icon in the top left of the screen, then select the appropriate lab account in the startup screen, and then click Login to access all your protocols and data.  Please email if your lab needs an account on the system, and there is also a generic USER account that with a number of example protocols anyone can use.  The data analysis software is called MARS, which you can run from the icon on the desktop or from inside the Smart Control software. 

The manuals and Quick Guides for the instrument are available in PDF format on the computer desktop or in hardcopy format sitting next to the control computer, behind the monitor.

A video intro to SMART Control software

The specs and upgrade options for our exact plate reader (the QR code on the instrument takes you here)

BMG LabTech website – the Resources tab has useful Application Notes and HowTo guides

Some items of note for this particular microplate reader

  • We have fluorescence, UV/VIS absorbance, luminescence FP, and bottom reading capabilities on the unit
  • For fluorescence and absorbance, the system has a “monochromator” based on sliding a continuous color gradient filter in the light beam. This means you do not need to have particular filter sets to do experiments, and you can freely adjust both the position and the width of the excitation and emissions channels to virtually anything you need.
  • For fluorescence polarization (FP), the system DOES use custom filter modules and we currently have the one for fluorescein. Please email if you need other FP filter sets.
  • The system can “Scan” inside the wells on the plates, collecting up to a 30×30 matrix per well in a 96-well plate. This can be useful for heterogeneous samples like cells growing on surfaces.
  • The system detects the pathlength on the fly, i.e. liquid column height, and corrects absorbances to a standard 1 cm path (turned on by default, I believe).
  • The system has a pretty high dynamic range and you can manually control the detector gain if needed. Note that for FP you set gains for parallel (A channel) and perpendicular (B channel) signals independently to effectively calibrate the FP readings and correct for any g-factor type effects.

Typhoon Scanner

In MRB210: The Amersham Typhoon RGB scanner was acquired in June 2023 and is equipped with red, green, and blue lasers and phosophorimager capability for radioactivity detection. The standard set of image holders are available and stored in the cabinet below the scanner itself. Please sign the log sheet with every scan you make and be sure to indicate which color channels you used with a simple R, G, B, or P alongside your name and lab. The instrument is available to non-BMB users at a flat fee of $20 per scan.

The control computer has a copy of ImageQuantTL v10.2 installed for quantitative analysis and there is a link to training materials below. The product description of IQTL can be found here and you can purchase licenses for your lab for ≈$800 each for Windows or Mac (Intel and M-series versions) computers.

Scanner training videos:

IQTL software training videos:

Please contact email if you have any questions or comments on this page.