Forensic Laboratories Gain Unique Flexibility with Spectrum CE System

Long-anticipated instrument is compatible with any 5-, 6- or 8-color STR analysis chemistry

Madison, WI USA. (May 17, 2022)

Forensics laboratories performing human identification in criminal casework and database cases have a new option for a capillary electrophoresis (CE) instrument to support their workflow. The Spectrum CE System, launched today by Promega, presents a new alternative in a market that has historically featured few options for instrumentation providers. By eliminating scheduling challenges and supporting chemistry from key vendors, the instrument gives forensic analysts unmatched flexibility in how they process samples using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis.

“This instrument will change how forensics labs process their STR samples,” says Sharon Sheridan, Director of Genetic Identity at Promega. “The Spectrum CE System represents years of learning from analysts who work hands-on with CE instrumentation paired with unwavering dedication from our engineering teams. The result is an instrument that not only fulfills the specific needs of those analysts today, but will also anticipate where the field is going in the future.”

This is the first CE instrument developed and produced by Promega to complement its existing portfolio of STR analysis kits. The biotechnology manufacturer has been developing and providing products for DNA-based human identification for more than 25 years. The instrument is for sale immediately with deliveries beginning in June 2022.

Spectrum CE System
The Spectrum CE System offers several unique features developed in response to input from the forensics community. The instrument holds four 96-well plates that are continuously accessible while the instrument is running, allowing labs to reduce scheduling conflicts and forgo batch processing. This also enables 100% utilization during work hours and “off-hours” runs to dramatically increase effective weekly output.

While Promega is an established supplier of PowerPlex® STR analysis chemistry, the Spectrum CE System was developed to function using STR kits from key vendors. With its team of former forensic practitioners, Promega pledges to provide the same level of support and service to labs, regardless of the STR chemistry they are using.

“Promega is dedicated to supporting customers that are using not only our own chemistries, but also competing chemistries that are on the market,” says Cristopher Cowan, Director of Instrumentation R&D. “We don’t necessarily need you to always be running Promega chemistry.”

The Spectrum CE System is compatible with 5-, 6- and 8-color STR kits. The market standard for STR analysis is currently 6-color chemistry, but Promega plans to release its first 8-color PowerPlex® System later this year, which will offer more meaningful information from each sample, particularly with low-quality casework samples.


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About Promega Corporation

Promega Corporation is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s portfolio of over 4,000 products support a range of life science work across areas such as cell biology; DNA, RNA and protein analysis; drug development; human identification and molecular diagnostics. For over 40 years these tools and technologies have grown in their application and are used today by scientists and technicians in labs for academic and government research, forensics, pharmaceuticals, clinical diagnostics and agricultural and environmental testing. Promega is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 16 countries and over 50 global distributors. For more information, visit and connect with Promega on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and the Promega Connections blog.