In the Spotlight - Microplate Technology

Whether you're preparing genomic samples for next gen sequencing, quantifying DNA samples, or performing a microarray analysis, it is important for life science researchers to be able to detect the biological and chemical changes that occur in samples.  The advances in microplate technology industry has evolved to give life science researchers a greater functionality, flexibility, & throughput when evaluating samples for change.  Below we examine some of the key instruments in microplate technology and which factors you should consider when making a purchase.

Microplate Readers

As one of the most basic tools used in life science research and drug discovery, microplate readers are widely used in labs everywhere for the detection of biological, physical, and/or chemical processes in samples that are contained in microplates.  According to the responses from a survey conducted by Lab Manager Magazine, the biggest factors that influence the decision-making process when buying a microplate reader are as follows (percent of people that stated of high importance);

  • Software for data analysis = 94%
  • Sensitivity = 91%
  • Ease of use = 89%
  • Performance = 87%
  • Low Maintenance = 85%

Featured Microplate Reader

Thermo Scientific's Varioskan Flash

The Thermo Scientific Varioskan Flash spectral scanning multimode reader is designed for analysing and optimization of assays such as binding assays, ADMETox, molecular biology assays, enzyme kinetic studies, ion-channel and cell signalling assays. 


Microplate Handlers, Washers, & Dispensers

One of the top priorities in today's modern laboratories is acheiving higher throughput during experiments.  This is usually done by eliminating human intervention and automating as many aspects of an experiment as possible. When it comes to the life sciences, much of the automation is performed by microplate handlers, washers, and dispensers.  Again, a survey from Lab Manager Magazine revealed that the top 5 features that influence lab professionals when purchasing a new microplate handler include:

  • Ease of use = 92%
  • Performance = 92%
  • Durability = 89%
  • Low Maintenance = 89%
  • Availability of supplies = 87%

Featured Microplate Handlers

Agilent Technologies BenchBot Robot

Whether you're discovering new biologics, preparing genomic samples for next gen sequencing, gene expression, or microarray analysis, Agilent has designed the new BenchBot Robot to provide an effective way for you to benefit from the speed and reliability of an automated microplate handling system no matter how your workflows evolve.



And finally, no analysis would be possible without a surface to store the samples being examined.  Microplates, also known as microtiter plates, usually come in 96, 384 or 1536 well formats with many differences such as colour, shape and size of wells, and others.  The type of microplates that you use during an experiment will usually depend on the type of analysis you are performing on the samples.

Featured Microplates

PerkinElmer's AlphaPlates

PerkinElmer's AlphaPlates are designed specifically for AlphaLISA and AlphaScreen assay applications.  The Alphaplate is a unique light gray engineered microplate for reduction in cross talk and assay optimization.


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Blog photo credit: Arrayit Corporation SpotBot®

James Vandal
Product Research Coordinator
LabX Media Group