Biological Chemistry Imaging Facility

General Information




Biological Chemistry Imaging Facility (BCIF) provides resources for data acquisition and analysis for radioactive, fluorescent, and photographic samples as well as digital imaging and document production. BCIF started operations in December 1994 as a small departmental facility. Over the years it grew into a core imaging facility serving the majority of departments and subdivisions of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

BCIF provides round-the-clock access to a cluster of fluorescent scanning equipment such as Typhoons 9410 and 9400 Variable Mode Imagers, Licor Odyssey near infra red imager, as well as Gel Documentation systems, color printers, and high-resolution flat-bed scanners. In addition BCIF provides scientific data storage space on its secure storage arrays to all participating labs, as well as access to a number of software packages for data analysis and digital data processing.

All equipment in the facility is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The facility operates on a walk-in basis and provides technical support and instructions during weekdays, primarily for new users. Each lab is provided with its own account and space on a file server. Any lab wishing to establish a new account is welcome to do so by filling out the BCIF Access Request Form and contacting the ITC helpdesk ( or ext. 49482) to set-up an appointment. For any questions, please contact Elizabeth Duran ( or x56545)

BCIF Locations
BCIF has two locations: 344C BSRB for labs located at the Bioscience Research Building and 33-089 CHS for labs located at other campus buildings.

Fee Structure
The cost is as follows:

Digital Imaging Processing (unlimited use of lab) - $25/mo per lab

Data File Storage-$5 per 500GB/mo per lab

B&W Printing/Scanning - $0.07/print

Color Printing/Scanning - $0.20/print

Typhoon™ 9410 and 9400 Variable Mode Imagers from GE Healthcare are the main equipment pieces at both BCIF locations. Typhoon imagers are versatile systems, which handle agarose and polyacrylamide gels, membranes, mounted or unmounted storage phosphor screens up to 35×43cm, microplates, microarrays, and in situ slides.

  • Storage phosphor
  • Direct blue-excited fluorescence (457 nm, 488 nm)
  • Direct green-excited fluorescence (532 nm)
  • Direct red-excited fluorescence (633 nm)
  • Chemiluminescence


Important Typhoon features:

  • Unique Typhoon property: Highly sensitive confocal optics enables direct and highly quantitative imaging of fluorescent Western blots without intermediate exposure to films or screens
  • Powerful excitation sources and confocal optics allow for the sensitive detection of very low-abundance targets
  • Red-, green-, and two blue-excitation wavelengths and a wide choice of emission filters enable imaging of a variety of fluorophores across visible spectrum
  • Automated four-color fluorescence scanning allows multiplexing of multiple targets in the same sample (i.e. Cy2, Cy3, and Cy5)
  • Storage phosphor autoradiography delivers high-resolution imaging and accurate quantitation of 3H,14C,125I, 32P, 33P, 35S, and other sources of ionizing radiation
  • Typhoon 9410 imager can image microarrays and in situ slides at 10 micron resolution
  • The Typhoon exhibits outstanding linearity (4-5 orders of magnitude), quantitative accuracy, and extremely low limits of detection



Scan area

35 × 43 cm

Sensitivity (limit of detection) 

Storage Phosphor: 14C (1 h exposure, 200 and 100 µm only): <2 dpm/mm2;32P: 5-10-fold lower than 14C
488 nm excited fluorescence: 100 amol FAM end-labeled DNA primer in 12% polyacrylamide gel sandwich, 0.4 mm thick
532 nm excited fluorescence: 200 amol HEX, TMR, ROX, and 400 amol FAM end-labeled DNA primer in 12% polyacrylamide gel sandwich, 0.4 mm thick
633 nm excited fluorescence: 200 amol Cy5 end-labeled DNA primer in 0.4 mm thick, 12% polyacrylamide gel with TBE buffer.

Pixel size

1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 25 (9400 model), and 10 µm (9410 model), selectable

Spatial resolution

Autoradiography:2 line pairs/mm for lines drawn with14C ink.
Blue-excited fluorescence: 10 line pairs/mm
Green-excited fluorescence: 10 line pairs/mm
Red-excited fluorescence: 10 line pairs/mm


± 5% over entire scan area.

Pixel accuracy

± 0.15%

Data format

16-bit (65,536 levels) TIFF

Linear dynamic range and linearity

Five orders of magnitude (100,000:1) with less than 7.5% relative standard deviation for entire dynamic range.

Red light source

Type: 10 mW Helium-Neon laser Estimated average lifetime: ~ 10,000 h Wavelength: 632.8 nm

Green light source

Type: 20 mW solid-state doubled frequency SYAG laser  Estimated average lifetime: ~10.000 h Wavelength: 532 nm

Blue light source

Type: 30 mW all blue lines Argon ion laser  Estimated average lifetime: ~5,000 h Wavelength: 488 nm (20 mW) and 457 nm (4 mW)

External interface

10 Base-T Ethernet using TCP/IP protocol


Scan control software for Windows™ operating system.

Power requirements

115/230 V (switchable), 50-60 Hz, < 500 W

(W × D × H) 

Instrument: 118 × 78 × 48 cm
Blue laser module: 30 × 78 × 48 cm