Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is Bento Lab?

Bento Lab is the first portable all-in-one DNA laboratory, suitable for applications from professional research to education.

It combines with a mini-centrifuge, a PCR thermocycler, and a gel electrophoresis box and power supply with blue LED transillumination – small enough to fit into a laptop-sized bag.

Is Bento Lab for academic research or for education?

Bento Lab is geared towards both professional research and science education. Our users are using Bento Lab for everything from preparing samples for nanopore sequencing in the field, to running science outreach activities on the go.

What applications are suitable for Bento Lab?

Our users are integrating Bento Lab into workflows from environmental research, to microbiome studies, to pre-diagnostic sampling with nanopore sequencing.

Check out some of our professional research users on our Research Applications page. If you are considering Bento Lab for education and learning, take a look at our educational Stories page.

Does Bento Lab ship internationally?

Yes, Bento Lab ships directly worldwide from the UK. Check our Terms and Conditions for more information. For other questions, or to place an order, please contact us.

Technical Capacity

How does Bento Lab compare to traditional thermocyclers?

Bento Lab is accurate is designed to match or exceed the performance of traditional thermocyclers, and has been validated against standard devices.

Temperature is controlled using industry-standard peltier modules, for high accuracy and speed. The Bento Lab peltier modules are specifically designed for robustness in thermo-cycling applications. For accurate temperature measurements, Bento Lab uses platinum resistance thermometers, the gold standard in temperature accuracy and reliability.

From the start, Bento Lab has been rigorously tested by our team of molecular biologists, research partners and independent testing houses. Bento Lab’s performance has been independently verified by scientists at world-leading research universities, institutes and commercial labs internationally on a broad variety of applications.

Which DNA stains are compatible with Bento Lab?

Avoid UV damage, and visualise DNA safely with the Bento Lab, using green fluorescent nucleic acid dyes designed for blue-light excitation.

Our favourite DNA stain is GelGreen®. Bento Lab is compatible with a wide range of dyes, including GelGreen, GreenView, SYBR Green, and SYBR Safe.

Can I use precast gels or the E-Gel system with Bento Lab?

Bento Lab can be used with precast gels compatible with blue light transillumination. We use precast TBE GreenGel Agarose Gels, available in the US and UK.

If you are interested in using Bento Lab with the E-Gel system, get in touch. Our users have adapted the E-Gel Precast Gel system to work with Bento Lab.


How do I get support with a technical issue?

If you have a question outside the scope of our manual, schedule a 20 minute call with our technical team. We will help you diagnose the problem, and find a solution.

What is the Bento Lab warranty?

All Bento Lab products are backed by the Bento Lab Limited Warranty, which covers defects in materials and workmanship for a period of 12 months from the date of purchase. Check our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Not found the answer you were looking for?

If we did not answer your question, please contact us directly.