A densitometer seems very much like a desktop scanner. Why should I use the GS-900™ calibrated densitometer instead of a scanner?
Desktop scanners are optimized for business applications such as optical character recognition (OCR) and scanning pictures. Most scanners automatically combine (interpolate) adjacent pixels to increase the scan resolution and adjust the contrast to enhance OCR capabilities and report intensity as opposed to an optical density.
Probably the most important advantage of a densitometer is its much larger optical density (OD) range. The optical density range of most desktop scanners is ~1–1.5 OD, which is sufficient only for documents and most pictures. Gels require a much wider range, from 0–3 OD. The required OD range for bands, spots, or samples is not accurately captured with a scanner.
The software in the GS-900 calibrated densitometer is designed to eliminate pixel interpolation, thus producing real optical density data for each point in the sample. The GS-900 densitometer is designed for high-resolution scanning (36.3 µm) to discriminate between closely spaced gel bands such as protein aggregates.
The GS-900 densitometer also has the advantage of being calibrated against a traceable target from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This helps your laboratory comply with regulations for GMP/GLP and 21CFR Part 11.
Densitometers are designed for scanning gels instead of paper, although paper can be scanned. The platen and lid accommodate thick gels and are sealed to prevent moisture leaks when scanning wet samples.