Luminometer development in the last four decades: recollections of two entrepreneurs


Correspondence to: Fritz Berthold, Berthold Technologies Gmbh & Co KG, Calmbacher Strasse 22, 75323 Bad Wildbad, Germany. E-mail:


This article, written by two entrepreneurs in luminescence, traces their involvement in the major part of the interconnected innovation and development of luminometers, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence and other technologies from the mid-1970s to 2011 that ushered in much of the field of luminometry as we know it today. Key developments leading to current commercial applications of ATP bioluminescence, luminescence immunoassay, cellular luminescence, reporter gene and other applications are described from the first tube luminometers derived from early luminescence studies using liquid scintillation counting technology to measuring bioluminescence from crude ATP and firefly tail extracts. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.