The essentials of Fluorometers
A fluorometer is a device which has the purpose of measuring parameters of fluorescence. In other words; it analyses a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation to determine the emission of light. To do this, it has several applications that each have their function. Finally, the fluorometer that has become Life Science Product of the Year.
What does a fluorometer do?
Fluorescence is the process of an object that is irradiated with light of one wavelength and gives off light of another wavelength, that can be measured by a fluorometer. This is actually just a spectrometer that is designed in a way that it is capable of measuring this process. The first step that a fluorometer takes is selecting a specific group of wavelengths, that are then formed into a sample. This sample emits a light that goes through another filter, after which an emission wavelength is selected and the remaining light is removed. Then the fluorometer measures it with a detector, which then provides you with a basic plan that differentiates due to the application and nature of the sample, and determines what molecules can be found within the sample.
There are many ways in which a different application of a sample can affect the behaviour of the fluorescence.
- Ligand binding and conformational changes: residue can be affected by its environment, which can cause its fluorescence behaviour to change.
- Calcium in cells: the calcium that might be in cells will trigger the chelating dyes to increase in fluorescence.
- FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer): This phenomenon takes place when two fluorophores are near each other. This application entails that one of the two (donor) causes the other (acceptor) to have an emission of fluorescence. The emitted (donated) light literally turns into the excitation light for the second fluorophore (it is accepted).
The application of a sample can thus be very different, and the use of a fluorometer is therefore a device that needs to be used by professionals in order to be used as intended.
Life Science Product of the Year
When the Life Science Product of the Year was determined, they looked at the reviews of acknowledged professionals who have experience with several spectrophotometers and fluorometers. The winner of this contest was the DeNovix DS-11 FX+. This spectrophotometer fluorometer has simply received the best reviews and thus become the Life Science Product of the Year.