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PMA-Lite™ LED Photolysis Device

PMA-Lite™ LED Photolysis Device is specifically designed for photoactivation of PMAxx™, propidium monoazide (PMA) and other similar dyes.

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Product Description

The PMA-Lite™ LED Photolysis Device can be used to provide continuous illumination for up to 18 samples at a time, for convenient and controlled photoactivation of PMA, PMAxx™, and similar dyes.


  • Holds up to 18 vials (1.5-2 mL size)
  • Multiple LEDs provide even illumination to the sides and bottoms of all vials
  • Internal fan to maintain temperature ≤37°C
  • Timer for 10, 15, 20 or 30 minutes of photolysis
  • Universal outlet adapter included for customers outside North America
  • Two-year warranty from date of purchase


  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 8.25 x 6.25 x 2.625 in. (21 x 15.9 x 6.7 cm)
  • Weight: 3 lb. 10.7 oz. (1.66 kg)
  • Frequency Range: 50~60 Hz
  • Power Range: 100~240 VAC
  • Internal 120/240 V converter
  • Maximum Power: 60 W
  • LED Output Wavelength: 465-475 nm

PMA for viability PCR

PMA is a photo-reactive dye that binds to dsDNA with high affinity and can be used for the selective detection of viable pathogens by qPCR.  PMAxx™ is a new and improved photoreactive dye for viability PCR. Learn more about PMA and PMAxx™. Each purchase of PMA-Lite™ Photolysis Device includes a free trial size of PMAxx™.

Other PMA-related products:

We also offer the Glo-Plate™ Blue, a flat LED illuminator for viability PCR. While our standard PMA-Lite™ LED photolysis device was designed for use with microcentrifuge tubes, the Glo-Plate™ Blue device allows for more flexible assay set-ups, including multi-well plates for high-throughput assays. The base of the Glo-Plate™ Blue chamber contains blue LED lights topped with a diffuser, allowing for even illumination across samples.

For viability PCR of gram-negative bacteria we highly recommend using our new PMA Enhancer (31038) in conjunction with PMA. PMA Enhancer for Gram Negative Bacteria was designed to improve PMA-mediated discrimination between live and dead gram-negative bacteria. When a sequence from a gram-negative bacteria is amplified by PCR, samples pre-treated with Enhancer show a decrease in the signal from dead cells, with no change in the signal from live cells.

Also see our strain-specific PMA Real-Time PCR Bacterial Viability Kits with validated primers for 5 selected pathogens: M. tuberculosis, S. aureus, MRSA, Salmonella, and E. coli O157:H7. These kits provide everything that you need for the selective detection of your favorite species of live bacteria by real-time PCR.


1. Nocker, A., Cheung, C.Y., and Kamper, A.K. (2006). Comparison of propidium monoazide with ethidium monoazide for differentiation of live vs. dead bacteria by selective removal of DNA from dead cells. J. Microbio Meth. 67(2), 310-320.

2. Front. Microbiol. (2015), doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00295

3. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2015), doi: 10.1007/s00253-015-6715-x

Download the full PMA Reference List.


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Support & Faq

PMA and PMAxx™ for viability PCR

Viability PCR originally used EMA (ethidium monoazide) to inactivate dead cell DNA. Biotium developed PMA (propidium monoazide) in collaboration with investigators at Montana State University (Nocker et al. 2006). PMA is more selective for dead cells than EMA, and became widely used for selective detection of viable microbes and viruses. PMAxx™ is Biotium’s newest viability PCR dye, designed to be more effective than PMA at eliminating PCR amplification of dead cell DNA. Therefore it provides the best discrimination between live and dead bacteria.

Learn more about PMA and PMAxx™ for viability PCR.

Category: PMA and PMAxx™ for viability PCR

← FAQs

Biotium offers the PMA-Lite™ LED Photolysis Device for light-induced cross-linking of PMAxx™ and PMA to dsDNA. The PMA-Lite™ is designed for samples in microcentrifuge tubes. We also offer the Glo-Plate™ Blue LED Illuminator for photoactivation of larger tubes, 96-well plates, or other plate formats.

Commercial halogen lamps (>600 W) for home use have been employed for photoactivating PMA in some publications, though results have not been consistent due to inevitable variation in the set-up configurations. If you decide to use a halogen lamp, we recommend that you lay tubes on a block of ice set 20 cm from the light source, on a rocking platform to ensure continuous mixing. Set the lamp so that the light source is pointing directly downward onto the samples (up to 45° downward slant is OK). Expose samples to light for 5-15 min.

Category: PMA and PMAxx™ for viability PCR

← FAQs

The LEDs in PMA-Lite have brightness of 600-800 millicandela (mcd). There are three LEDs next to each tube (one bottom, two side) and the wavelength is 465-475 nm.

Category: PMA and PMAxx™ for viability PCR

← FAQs

← FAQs

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Shipping & Handling Disclaimer: Shipping and handling methods are calculated based on item temperature storage recommendation. Large, multi-item orders may be assessed additional fees. Shipping to Puerto Rico may be assessed additional fees. A Biotium customer service representative will contact you if additional fees are required. For expedited shipping, please request in the Order Notes section of the checkout page. Please note that products with recommended storage at 4°C or -20°C may ship at ambient temperature. This will not affect product performance. When you receive the product, place it under the recommended storage conditions.