Top Navigation


Azure Imagers vs. iBright® systems:
What you should know

If you’re on the hunt for a new Western blot imager and are thinking about an Invitrogen® iBright® system from Thermo Fisher Scientific, think again. At a similar price point, Azure Imagers are just as easy to use but you’ll get more sensitive detection, a wider dynamic range, and a more uniform field-of-view. And with fewer moving parts than iBright® systems, Azure Imagers are easier to maintain.

In other words, if you care about generating reliable and reproducible (not to mention quantitative) gel and blot images, an Azure Imager is the obvious choice.

Azure Imagers combine ease-of-use with performance

280™ iBright® CL-1000 600® iBright® FL-1000
Number of standard light sources 4 2 9 3
Lasers No No Yes No

Notice the bench-friendly, space-saving footprint of our Azure Imagers


Footprint of the 600® Imager (38 cm x 55 cm x 36 cm; W x H x D) vs. the iBright® FL-1000 (dotted line; 38 cm x 60 cm x 68 cm; W x H x D)

Innovative design translates into better performance

It should be no surprise that instrument design can greatly impact instrument performance. At Azure Biosystems®, we focus on using technological innovation to deliver instruments that really impact a scientist’s work, from design choices that simplify workflows and improve performance without significantly impacting price.

Direct, mirror-free detection delivers better sensitivity

One way the design of Azure Imagers delivers better performance than iBright® imagers is through our direct-mirror-free detection. We place our CCD sensor close to the sample to maximize light collection efficiency and, thus, sensitivity. In contrast, the iBright® sensor is placed much farther away from the sample, reducing sensitivity. In addition, iBright® does not directly detect light from the sample, but rather the light is reflected onto the sensor using a mirror, which further reduces sensitivity.

Light Source
Light source           Decrease in light intensity (inverse-square law)

NIR lasers increase sensitivity and reduce background

The use of laser light sources for NIR illumination in Azure Imaging Systems further increases sensitivity. because lasers deliver an inherently narrower excitation band than LEDs—lasers emit a coherent, collimated beam of light—they avoid the overlap in excitation and emission signals that can occur with LED light sources. This results in ultra-low background signal, enabling faster, more sensitive NIR fluorescence detection.


NIR lasers used in Azure Imagers keep signal high and background low. The robust excitation energy delivered by lasers maximizes emission strength for optimal detection sensitivity.

More about our Azure Imagers

All Azure Imaging Systems offer:

  • Focus-free imaging, no-positioning necessary
  • One-touch workflows—select your application and the instrument chooses the appropriate light source and filters
  • AzureSpot Analysis Software for powerful and streamlined quantitative analysis

Select instruments offer:

  • Chemiluminescent detection that’s just as sensitive as film, but easier and more quantitative
  • Two NIR lasers (660 nm and 785 nm) that keep signal high and background low
  • Efficient multiplex detection with three visible fluorescence channels and/or two NIR fluorescence channels
  • An optional Q-module that adds the capability to perform total protein normalization using AzureRed Total Protein Stain to 300 and 500 Imagers

Ready to learn more about Azure Imagers?
Want to set up a demo?
Fill out the form above and we will get back to you soon.

Invitrogen®, WesternDot® and iBright® are registered trademarks of Life Technologies Corporation, now a part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. No endorsement is implied by the use of these marks. All rights reserved.

Get more information or set up a demo by filling out the form and clicking submit.

Reviews of the c600® Imager from SelectScience

“This 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.”

—Seth Gammon, MD Anderson Cancer Center

“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.”

—Alex Chan, USC Keck