The G:BOX is being used by researchers in the School of Chemistry at the University of Southampton to visualise oligonucleotides in an acrylamide gel, placed on a silica-coated TLC plate. The G:BOX illuminates the oligonucleotides by shining UV light (254nm) on to the gel. The oligonucleotides cast a shadow
against the TLC plate’s fluorescent background, allowing visualisation of the DNA bands with the G:BOX’s high resolution CCD camera. The image of the UV shadow is captured using the G:BOX’s capture software and the bands are then analysed with GeneTools software to automatically calculate the size and
molecular weight of the DNA.
Dr Afaf El-Sagheer, a Research Fellow in the School of Chemistry commented:
“We are synthesising different oligonucleotides using a variety of different organic reactions. We use UV shadowing to analyse them because it provides us with a clear impression of what is happening and is more convenient than using toxic stains like Ethidium bromide. We can detect as little as 0.1 OD260 of DNA and visualise DNA ranging from 2-300 bps using the G:BOX, which is sensitive enough for all our research needs.”
Laura Sullivan, Syngene’s Divisional Manager, added: “We are excited to see the G:BOX being used successfully for UV shadowing. The research at the University of Southampton demonstrates that the G:BOX offers an accurate method of detecting oligonucleotides or small sections of DNA without the need to use mutagenic Ethidium bromide, hazardous radiolabels or expensive non-toxic fluorescent dyes. For scientists with a limited consumables budget or those wanting to extract DNA from their gels, using the G:BOX image analysis system for UV shadowing provides the perfect solution.”