Introduction: How to Make UV Transilluminator

UV-transilluminators are used in molecular biology labs to view DNA (or RNA) that has been separated by electrophoresis through an agarose gel. During or immediately after electrophoresis, the agarose gel is stained with a fluorescent dye which binds to nucleic acid. Exposing the stained gel to a UVB light source causes the DNA/dye to fluoresce and become visible. This technique is used wherever the researcher needs to be able to view their sample, for example sizing a PCR product, purifying DNA segment after a restriction enzyme digest, quantifying DNA or verifying RNA integrity after extraction.

Step 1: Materials

The selection of all the materials depends on what you need. The following list is my selection for reference only.
1、6 x 312nm T5 6W UV bulb , 21cm

2、6 x lamp holder with ballast inside

3、1 x U325C transilluminator glass, 20x15cm

4、1 x non-transparent box , 330 x 255 x 30 mm

5、1 x power line with switch

Step 2: Cutting Box

The box is pressurized ,so we need to cut out a window above the box. In order to fixed the transilluminator glass, the window need to smaller than the transilluminator glass. Choosing cutting tools is based on the box material. My choice is dremel 3000 which is better to control. If the box and transilluminator glass you choose are the similar size, you can remove the lid of the box and fix the transilluminator glass on the box.

Step 3: Installing

At first, connect all the two electrodes of UV bulbs to the power line respectively. And then use the insulating tape to fix them well.Be careful the power line cann’t be short circuit. At last fix the transilluminator glass on the window we just cut.Now the UV Transilluminator is finished. Place your gel prepared on the window , switch on the transilluminator, and you will see the DNA bands