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The most widely used instruments for the measurement of chemiluminescence and bioluminescence are luminometers and low level light imagers.

Luminometers measure single samples in microplates or sample tubes sequentially, while imagers produce quantitative images in one exposure.

The detector of choice for luminometers is the photomultiplier tube, preferably operated as photon counter. To measure flash-type luminescence, luminometers can be equipped with reagent injectors.

CCD's (charge coupled devices) are used in imagers. Besides slow- scan cooled CCD's, modified devices like electron-multiplication CCD's, or CCD's with image intensifier are used in order to obtain higher frame rates.

Imagers are used for objects like small animals, plants, blots, gels, or Petri dishes, but also find use in high- throughput systems, imaging an entire microplate simultaneously.

Fluorescence measuring capabilities are a standard option for imagers, while measurement of bioluminescence and chemiluminescence in single samples is frequently performed in multimode readers, combining luminescence with absorption and different fluorescence measuring capabilities in a single instrument.

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