Our lab recently acquired a Sapphire FL Biomolecular Imager. This imager is a game-changer, and the analysis software is fantastic. Going from regularly using an imager built in the 90’s to a unit this modern is a substantial leap forward, but this overdue upgrade in machinery is not the sole reason for our excitement. Its sensitivity, resolution, and user-friendly UI speak volumes for the quality of the product and has made imaging an even more enjoyable part of our experiments. My colleagues and I are looking forward to using it for years to come, and we’re excited for the chemiluminescent module training we have scheduled for tomorrow morning!
Purchased this to replace our aging film developer. I’ve been a staunch user of film for over 25 years and until the Azure 600 showed up, never found a digital system to match film’s sensitivity. With the Azure 600 my lab has stopped using film altogether as the sensitivity and ease of use beats film. Capture software is easy to use, and the analysis software is good (but could use some improvement). Fluorescent and ECL capture works great, and allows us to multiplex with different fluorophores when using fluorescent antibodies. Detection of silver stained proteins is also excellent, where you can see bands that are not visible with a naked eye. My lab tested 3 different imagers before settling on this one, and we do not regret our choice one bit. Overall, a fantastic and powerful imager that now is used daily by my lab and others at my institution after the word of it has spread.
One year ago (August 2021), we purchased an Azure 280 imaging system (AZ1280) from Azure Biosystems. We wanted a low-cost yet high-performance and quantitative Western blot imaging system, and Azure 280 was exactly what we needed. The Azure 280 is easy to use and has identical capabilities as the Azure 300, but it is just not upgradeable. However, we were offered the option to upgrade in the future (if we wanted to) by trade-in. Nathan Hemendinger, the director of Eastern North America at Azure Biosystems was courteous and very accommodating.
The Azure 300 is a wonderful gel imager and fits our needs perfectly. It’s compact and sleek – looks great on the bench. We just received it and are getting ready to take the first images soon. With the camera upgrade from the Azure 200 the images should be crisp and publication worthy. A solid and well-built instrument.
Bought a brand new c600 Imager and traded in our old C200 at the same time, and the process was super easy and smooth. The Technical Product Specialist I spoke with, Emma Paytas, was very knowledgeable and responded quickly to my emails, so I was able to make a well-informed and timely decision on which Imager would best fit our company’s needs. The installation and set-up was very simple, and would be intuitive for someone with no prior experience using the machine. They sent a hard-sided case and padding to trade our old imager in, so I didn’t have to worry about finding proper packaging to keep it from being damaged in transit. Our new imager works great, with many functions and capabilities, and we have had no troubles with it at all. Would definitely recommend Azure to anyone looking for any kind of gel imaging system!
I love our Azure 600 imager. The chemiluminescence and fluorescence Image capture functionalities are awesome! The software allows merging of the two images. Additionally, I can independently adjust the contrast of the chemi and fluorescence images using the same software. Lastly, I love the fact that the printout of the images captured are exact size of the original samples.
We bought the C600 a few years ago and use it mostly for imaging of Westerns. We are very happy with the capabilities of the system and the recommended reagents, although other reagents also work. I am most impressed with their service. We had some water damage in the lab and the instrument got soaked. Azure sales rep and technicians responded the same day and guided us through diagnostic procedures but in the end we had to ship the instrument back to Azure for service. They organized the shipping and provided a loaner, so we never were without instrument. Excellent service.
I have used other Western blot imaging systems but they were too slow and complicated. The Azure c600 makes it easy to see my data quickly. I use Femto grade ECL for hard-to-detect targets like low abundance proteins or targets with weakly binding antibodies. This used to give me problems with X-ray films that were full of dark spots or sometimes even turning completely dark. That never happens any more. The Azure c600 gives me very clean and nice looking results.
“I have used other Western blot imaging systems but they were too slow and complicated. The Azure c600 makes it easy to see my data quickly.
I use Femto grade ECL for hard-to-detect targets like low abundance proteins or targets with weakly binding antibodies. This used to give me problems with X-ray films that were full of dark spots or sometimes even turning completely dark. That never happens any more. The Azure c600 gives me very clean and nice looking results.
The system is fast and easy to use. I load the membrane on the tray and choose my imaging method with the touch of a button. I specially like how it records multiple cumulative images, so I never need to re-expose the membrane.
We pursued digital imaging because we were looking for a way to save time by skipping the dark room and having to scan film. We considered two other imagers that are on the market. We chose the Azure c300 system for the best cost, great-looking images while using the demo, large work area to accommodate larger Western blots, and most importantly, ease of use. One person in the lab was resistant to switching to digital imaging at first, but has since come around because of the convenience, ease of use, and images that are equal to or better than film. None of us have had to use the dark room in over a year.
Considering how much we initially liked the machine, I was a little nervous about going with a product and company that were so new to the market. The sales and technical support have always been great and we are very satisfied.
We purchased the Sapphire imager to replace our obsolete Typhoon scanner and could not be happier with the performance and ease of use. Equipped with multiple lasers, it is possible to probe for many proteins at high resolution and with great sensitivity. We primarily use the system for Western blotting and fluorescent slide scanning and have had clear, publishable results. The software is easy to use and has many practical features. Customer service is amazing – they are always available, informative, and as scientists, they assist with troubleshooting experimental design and optimizing results. This product is highly recommended for anyone who routinely uses electrophoresis, cell-based, or slide-based analyses with fluorescent or chemiluminescent detection.
Azure c600 is a perfect imager.
Although it is a new brand product, it has high quality and good performance. We love the multi-function of c600, with it everyone in our lab can capture multiplex samples on chemiluminescence, RGB and NIR and so on. The most important thing is the support is excellent, when we have questions, the technical support of Azure will support us timely, patiently and professionally. Especially, their regular after-sales service every 6 months which on using, technology, even on our experiment is one thing I haven’t seen before. Azure’s high-level product and service really make us feel satisfied.
Freedom to capture data for studying proteins and nucleic acids.
Traditionally, Western blot detection methods have used X-ray films to capture chemiluminescence. However, the increasing costs for film, reagents, and maintenance made many researchers to shift from darkrooms to more sensitive and technologically advanced digital imaging systems such as Cooled-charge coupled devices (CCD) cameras capturing both chemiluminescence and fluorescence images. The two mentioned detection methods allow the ability to simultaneously detect proteins on the same blot minimizing the need for stripping and reprobing leading to an increase in detection efficiency (Mathews, Plaisance et al. 2009).
Here, I will review Azure Biosystems imaging system for chemiluminescent, fluorescent and infrared imaging, and briefly discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
The Azure Biosystems C600 image analyzer.
C600 system is the only imaging system available in the market currently with the following features (i) infrared laser excitation for quantitative imaging in the near IR, (ii) picogram detection of proteins using chemiluminescence, (iii) wide range of dye selection with Cy®5/Cy3/Cy2 excitation, and (iv) option of upgradation from the base units c200, c300, c400 and c500. This increases the options of selecting different chemistry for performing Western blots by using the same imaging system. Due to the signal stability and low background, detection in the near-infrared fluorescent (NIR) for Western blot detection is achievable using the infrared fluorescent dyes. The NIR western detection also offers multiplexing allowing the option to detect multiple proteins at the same time. Azure Biosystems’ c600 system is equipped with two IR detection channels and allows users to study multiple proteins with overlapping in a blot. The image generated can be spectrally separated as the secondary antibodies are imaged in two different channel.
We have compared the image obtained and the analysis results were comparable to other laser detection system e.g. LiCOR odyssey Western blot imaging system.
Chemiluminescence continues to be a favorite and sensitive method of detection. Azure c600 provides quantitative analysis with accurate, fast detection with superior sensitivity, dynamic range, and linearity needed for quantitative blot analysis by chemiluminescent means made possible due to the use of the high resolution, F 0.95 fast lens technology. The superiority of the analyzer is evident from the availability to use any HRP substrate allowing users to maintain the same protocol and capture images with the same sensitivity as film without the risk of oversaturation due to the broader window of detection of several orders of magnitude of protein concentration. The c600 can also be equipped with powerful LEDS for Cy5/Cy3/Cy2 imaging or similar dyes thus allowing the users the option to expand multiplexing. The c600 is also able to image a wide range of dyes (excitation maxima from 302 nm to 785 nm), enabling WesternDots™, Stain-Free™ gels and different types of in-gel fluorescence.
The c600 system also is of immense to molecular biologists with the inclusion of UV, white, and blue lights for imaging Ethidium bromide, Coomassie, and non-mutagenic dyes like Gel red and Gel green.
Azure c600 machine offers great value for the money as it combines the functionalities of laser NIR imager with chemiluminescent camera in one simple affordable machine.
The after sales service provided by Azure Biosciences is of highest professional standard, with arrangement of hands-on training beginning from installation to detailed explanation of functioning of the machine. The technical team took into consideration about minor technical information while explaining the functioning of the Azure spot software. We had faced problem once with regards to the software and it was promptly resolved by the Azure Biosciences team.
The technical team is also helping us to explain the analysis beyond Westerns to analyze multiplexing on glass bead format as is available for the analysis of many cytokines and key molecules from many supplier as well as thick tissues pre-labelled with dye probe e.g. GFP protein.
Source: Mathews, S. T., E. P. Plaisance and T. Kim (2009). Methods Mol Biol 536: 499-513.
It is easy to use and saves a lot of time and effort. Accuracy and sensitivity is realistic.
Operation of capture software is easy, reduces instrument manager’s training work.
We purchased a c500 imager from Azure several years before, this system runs still stable now. The excellent resolution and the sensitivity give us many quality sample images. The c500 contains many functions such as gel, ECL Western blot, NIR fluorescence, it is a very important aspect for instrument platform. The operation of the capture software is very easy, it can reduce instrument manager’s training work. The service is perfect, the technical support of Azure helps us to training and support several times when we need.
We can get high quality data, the gel images have high resolution.
With Azure c300 imager we can get high quality data, the gel images have high resolution and chemi images have high sensitivity. The marker overlay function is very useful when we want to see the molecular weight comparing marker of the bands. It is a very easy to use, powerful and high-performance imager. The continuous service about every six months and the timely and professional technical support of Azure product specialist makes us without fear when using the system. Although our c300 is the first system in our university, we feel no regret to make this right choice.
Excellent piece of kit.
The Azure c280 really is an excellent system, and the service from Cambridge Bioscience (the UK distributor) has been exceptional. Okay, this is the ‘budget’ model which lacks the fluorescence and near IR capability of the more expensive systems, but what it does (colour imaging/chemiluminescence of proteins/DNA/RNA gel imaging, it does really very well. It is quick to start, easy to use and simple to transfer files from with a small footprint on the bench. What more could you ask for?
Small compact microplate reader that is very user-friendly, and time-saving. The machine has great accuracy as it is able to generate reproducible results.
Azure c600 is absolutely the best imager I have used. Easy to use intuitive software, very sensitive camera with low noise. Excellent data analysis software. Very portable.
When starting the lab, we needed a reasonably-priced gel imager with a small bench footprint to image both standard DNA EtBr gels as well as Western blot chemiluminescence/ECL. The Azure c280 really checked all the boxes for us, and has not disappointed us. The system is easy/intuitive to use and very compact. We are very satisfied with the system’s performance, which has allowed us to capture very good quality data used for publications.
As a life science researcher, I have to perform daily tasks including gel electrophoresis for which we purchased Azure 200 it was a successful deal as we get a detailed image with easy-to-use UI, and later on, we are working immunoblotting as this technique demand chemiluminescence detection so we purchase Azure 300 which is the most satisfied product we have in our lab.
The Azure 300 is an exceptional sensitivity especially in Western blotting as it offers chemiluminescence detection. The system captures images with outstanding clarity and detail and features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to capture and analyze data.
The Azure 200, on the other hand, is a more affordable option that is ideal for researchers who need a reliable, easy-to-use imaging system for routine applications such as DNA gel electrophoresis and protein gel imaging. Like the Azure 300, the Azure 200 also delivers clear, detailed images, and features an intuitive interface that makes it easy to capture and analyze data.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Azure 300 and Azure 200 imaging systems from Azure Biosystems to any researcher in the life sciences. Both systems offer exceptional performance, versatility, and ease of use, making them ideal choices for a wide range of applications.
Our lab purchased Azure 600 to replace an old gel doc imager. Protein bands look sharp and the resolution is high. I also love the multiple image capturing can be repeated for multiple times with different duration. Besides, protein ladder (marker) can also be captured and this enables the comparison of protein bands with the protein ladder on the same blot. It is an ideal equipment for protein and molecular biology works.
[The Azure Sapphire] is a high quality imager that has a strong value for the usability vs. price. The imager is highly programmable, supporting multiple applications, and returns sensitive and high quality data. The imager has also been reliable, with no errors, breakdowns, or problems. Adding to this, the sales staff, particularly David Grothen, are fantastic. They have worked with us, got us a great deal, and have been very supportive post-purchase. Buy it, you won’t be sorry!
The Azure 600 imaging platform is a great all-in-one replacement for imagers that only work for one or a few applications. The small footprint and range of wavelengths/formats that can be accessed with this device is impressive! We also love the ability to do quantitative analysis with the AzureSpot Pro software package. The Azure 600 is an ideal platform for labs that are working in molecular biology, protein analysis, and enzyme function and need to quantitatively image a wide variety of gel or membrane types.
Azure Biosystems and their equipment has been great for my Western blot analysis. The systems are easy to use and I can easily quantify the signals of my Western blots now. I highly recommend them if you are in the market for new imaging software for analyzing your Western blots.
The Sapphire imager is one of our lab’s main work horse instruments. It is used on a daily basis for fluorescent and chemiluminescent imaging of Western blots and plates. The image quality and resolution of the imager are top notch. The ability to image a single blot in multiple wavelengths is a great advantage as it saves precious samples, time and reagents. Customer support has been awesome and I would highly recommend this instrument to anyone looking to add fluorescent scanning to their lab.
Before getting [the Azure 400], our group was using an older model without luminescence capability. We upgraded to this machine and it was very easy to use, has the capabilities that we were looking for, and has given crisp bright images of our gels.
The Azure 600 Western blotting imaging system. Sensitive detection, intuitive software. Great for our NIR, fluorescence and chemiluminescent western blot detection. Multiplexing works great! Also a superior system to document our nucleic acid gels. The whole department appreciates them (we have two).
My lab has a Sapphire Imager RGB-NIR with 4 lasers for over a year and a half now. This has been a workhorse for us as we use it for fluorescent gels and Western blots regularly. My researchers have been happy with it and I am pretty happy with the imager.
We purchased the Sapphire Biomolecular imager to replace an aging, first generation Licor Odyssey scanner. Six months in and the Sapphire has proven to be a workhorse in the lab. With easy to use software, high resolution and the ability to scan 4 channels (2 IR 2 fluorescent) simultaneously , the Sapphire has given us the capacity to probe for multiple proteins at once without crosstalk between channels, thus eliminating the need to run and probe multiple gels. Equipped with a separate CCD camera, the Sapphire is capable of imaging both chemiluminescence Western blots and phosphor imaging screens, providing us a choice of detection methods. Our primary application is Western blotting, however the versatility of the machine has allowed us to do 96-well ELISA studies as well. Analysis of blots or plates is very straight forward using the AzureSpot software. Azure customer service has been excellent. Email enquiries are answered promptly and the service staff have gone above and beyond to help rectify the few minor issues we’ve had. If you are in the market for an IR scanner, I would highly recommend considering the Sapphire for your lab.
Blots courtesy Dr. Pradeep Kota
Azure c200 has great performance in order to visualize your gel. The system has built in L.E.D. lights and separated U.V. light to get the perfect image. The system also has a built in L.C.D. tablet and the software where you can retrieve your gel data. Also the system can be connected to the separate PC for the software analysis. The system gives you quick visualization of gel and reading in less than 5 seconds. you can adjust the light in order to get a perfect view. With the experience of more than 2 years on Azure c200, I strongly recommend this unit for diagnostic and research purpose.
Before purchasing the Azure c600 we imaged our blots on a Typhoon 9410 fluorescence scanner from GE Healthcare.
We evaluated both the Odyssey CLx from Li-Cor and the Azure Biosystems c600. The Li-Cor and the Azure systems yielded similar results with both having identical limits of IR-based detection. On the other hand, the Azure c600 was more flexible (chemi, visible and infrared capabilities), and therefore had more to offer.
Three features that I appreciate about the c600 are i) the user-friendly graphical interface, ii) the quick and adjustable acquisition times and iii) the custom acquisition mode which allows one to detect information from multiple chemistries and then present the resulting merged image!
We purchased the Azure  imaging system to replace our previous digital imager (a Fluorchem Q) when it broke beyond repair. We chose the Azure system for several reasons. First, the machine itself was simple to use and had a small footprint, which is very important for our cramped bench space. Second, we were able to demo the machine. You cannot appreciate how easy-to-use a piece of equipment is until you have it in your hands without the field rep there to guide you. Third, Azure will send field reps to service the instrument. We chose Azure over Protein Simple because Protein Simple would not do this. Quality customer service is important for us because our lab is small and we are all very busy and unable to spend hours troubleshooting.
The Azure instrument has been great. We are currently using it for chemiluminescence and UV imaging. It is easy to use for these applications and we have obtained high-quality images. The cumulative capture feature for chemiluminescence in particular is a very useful feature for my work.
Professional regular service and technical support without delay when asked.
Sapphire is a powerful and quality laser scanner in our laboratory. Its high-performance laser light sources, high-sensitivity detector and 10μm highest resolution gives us high-quality data; Its multiplex fluorescence channels and CCD-based function makes us can develop several methods to verify and get an accurate result. For us, the most important thing of the large precision instrument besides good quality, performance is service. Azure’s good service is better than most of other manufacturers because of the professional regular service about twice a year and the technical support without delay when asked.
[The Azure c600] is an exceptional multi-modal imaging system. It is very sensitive, provides highly uniform images, and, importantly for a general use facility, it is VERY easy to use. I would recommend this system to a friend or colleague.
Recently bought this imager after having tested Biorad, ProteinSimple, Multiple GE machines and UVP. I was looking for the imager that gave us the best image quality for our Western blots, the price was not a question. I can confidently say that this imager gave us the highest image quality and had the most functionality, on top of being one of the more affordable imagers. I am very happy with this machine and would definitely recommend it.
The Azure imaging system is very friendly to use. The sensitivity is better than what we get using film. The customer service is outstanding and very responsive to any questions. I highly recommended this system.
Azure c500 gel imaging system is revolutionary and the expert after care astounding.
The Azure C500 gel imaging system has been an invaluable tool in our lab. It has revolutionised the blotting process. Images are spectacular and the analysis software is very user friendly. This machine makes these techniques more reliable and easier to perform. Recently we had problems with it and called for a service. The customer care and works carried out were outstanding. The work was completed in fantastic time to such a high standard. Our machine is like brand new again. I am most impressed by this level of care. Many thanks to Jan Wolfram at Azure Biosystems and Kevin Chalmers at Cambridge Bioscience. I highly recommend the Azure C500 for ease of use and functionality and the team that help look after it.
Essential addition to our work-flow. State of the art instrument, great flexibility, and excellent customer support!
Our Azure c400 has proven to be extremely user friendly and an essential addition to our work-flow. Azure has developed an intuitive interface for the platform which is easy to navigate without limiting flexibility and features prior to image acquisition. And the auto exposure function provides good estimate of exposure time for the majority of our applications. The combination of a state of the art instrument, excellent post-sales support, and a responsive development team (integration of user recommended functions into the software) have made us loyal supporters of Azure.
The quality of the c300 is very good and it rarely goes wrong.
Azure c300 is an excellent imager with faster exposure and better imaging. Campared with the other imagers, the quality of the C300 is very good and it rarely goes wrong. Moreover, the Azure team provides quality service. They responsibly install the machine and patiently train. They maintain regularly and answer technical questions quickly. Given the above, Azure c300 and its team make us satisfied.
Great results and easy to use. Very happy with our new imager.
Our company recently bought a c300 and could not be happier with its performance and reliability. It is extremely easy to use, produces very clear and consistent results and takes up much less bench space than our previous imager. Additionally, the technical support we’ve received has been amazing in answering/troubleshooting any questions or minor issues we ran into.
Great value, small footprint and really easy to use.
This system is really easy to use, simple interface and takes great images of agarose and coomassie stained gels. Would definitely recommend this piece of equipment. It is great that it is upgradable with new features without purchasing an entire new system.
Best purchase we’ve made in years.
The c400 is incredibly user friendly. Using custom time intervals and sensitivities with this machine will save you tons of time in the dark room if you still develop film. The versatility makes this a product a simple purchase for those just starting to put a lab together and want to do two-channel IR direct detection, chemiluminescence, DNA/protein blot images, or even 3-channel visible fluorescent detection if you feel the need to upgrade in the future. The company has also been easy to contact with questions and demonstrations. We highly recommend this product and company.
High detection sensitivity and user-friendly interface.
The c300 has become one of the most frequently used instruments in our laboratory, which has high detection sensitivity and user-friendly interface. It is so powerful and durable that it rarely fails during use. The most important thing is that the company’s after-sales service is very good. As soon as a little doubt arises, their staff will arrive immediately and patiently solve the problem. We are very grateful to have met a company with good products and services.