Biochemists depend on ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry to quantify the nucleic acid or protein concentration of microvolume samples. In fact, it is one of the leading techniques used to quantify purified biomolecules in life science applications, owing to its ability to rapidly detect molecules based on their characteristic absorbance at specific wavelengths. Though there are many DNA quantification spectrophotometers available, they have become largely synonymous with the brand name NanoDropTM.

Alternatives to the NanoDropTM range of DNA quantification spectrophotometers include the DS-11 Series from DeNovix. This advanced instrument is the most sensitive UV-Vis microvolume analyzer on the market, with a wide dynamic range enhanced by analyte-specific fluorescence capabilities, making the DS-11 Series more than just a NanoDropTM alternative.

What is NanoDropTM & What are the Alternatives?

The NanoDropTM DNA quantification spectrophotometer is a licensed property of Thermo Fisher that was originally developed by NanoDrop Technologies Inc. It was specifically designed to measure nucleic acid concentrations in microvolume samples as a function of amino acid/assay absorbance. With a pioneering sample retention technology that eschewed the need for disposable cuvettes, the NanoDropTM range ushered in new levels of ease and precision in the field of DNA and RNA quantitation.

The DS-11 Series, our industry-leading NanoDropTM alternative, operates on a similar direct sample retention technology whereby a microvolume solution can be pipetted onto the instrument’s optical sapphire surfaces and a column of sample material will form, which can then be compressed to the right path length.

Both NanoDropTM and alternative DNA quantification spectrophotometers offer extraordinary savings in terms of ongoing experiment costs, probe requirements, and through increased productivity. Surfaces can be simply wiped down and cleansed after measurements, allowing the instruments to conduct multiple runs in remarkably short periods of time. Enabling detailed concentration readings of smaller volumes of sample material also empowers users to make the most of valuable samples, such as limited tissue biopsies.

Where the DS-11 Series begins to outstrip NanoDropTM and its alternatives are in its additional fluorescence capabilities and proprietary SmartPath® Technology.

NanoDropTM Alternatives: Benefits of Fluorescence

The all-in-one design of the DS-11 FX+ combines the performance of a wide dynamic range UV-Vis microvolume spectrophotometer with the ultra-sensitivity and enhanced analyte-specificity of a fluorometer. By acquiring the unique fluorescent signals emitted by molecules excited by light of specific wavelengths, scientists can gain a broader insight into composition and concentration for unprecedented flexibility in sample quality control.

NanoDropTM Alternatives: Benefits of SmartPath Technology

The DS-11 uses the Beer-Lambert equation to calculate sample concentration, which means pathlength is a critical factor. Our innovative DNA quantification spectrophotometer uses proprietary SmartPath Technology based on optomechanical components and algorithmic control. Unlike the NanoDropTM, which stretches samples to form a column, the DS-11 Series compresses samples from 0.5mm down to an optimum path length using real-time absorbance data. This has myriad benefits over the NanoDropTM where samples are stretched.

For a full comparison, read our previous article: Comparing DS-11 Series and NanoDropTM Protein Concentration Capabilities

DS-11 Series DNA Quantification Spectrophotometers from DeNovix

DeNovix designs and supplies convenient instrumentation for biochemists in a range of application areas. We offer high-analytical instrumentation that has been thoroughly optimized for your convenience, such as the DS-11 series, a five-start rated NanoDropTM alternative.

Read More: NanoDropTM One vs DS-11 Series: Comparing Microvolume Performance

If you have application questions for DS-11 Series products, simply contact a member of the team today.


NanoDrop™ and NanoDrop™ One are registered trademarks of Thermo Fisher Scientific and its subsidiaries.