Friday, January 27, 2012

Focus on: Microplates

With so many different microplates to choose from, it is often difficult to know which kind and type of microplate is best for your assay.

The first thing to consider is the size and well volume. The most common microplates used are 96-well plates which can hold up to 300 µLs of liquid per well. The lowest volume recommend for any microplate is >1/3 of the maximum volume of that well. If smaller volumes are needed then either half area 96-well plates (150 µLs per well) or 384-well plates (100 µLs) can be used. If even lower volumes are needed, then low volume 384-well plates (40 µLs), 1536-well plates (15 µLs), or even 3456-well plates (5 µLs) can be used.BMG LABTECH also offers the LVis Plate, which is equipped with sixteen low volume positions for quick and easy measurement of samples down to 2µL.

When greater volumes are needed, 48- or 24-well plates can be used.

The second thing to consider is the microplate color. As a general rule we recommend:
Clear plates => Absorbance assays
UV clear plates => UV Absorbance assays (i.e. DNA 260)
Black plates => Fluorescent assays; or Time resolved fluorescent assays using a laser for excitation
Black plates with clear bottom => cell-based fluorescent assays
White plates => Luminescent assays; AlphaScreen®; or Time resolved fluorescent assays using a flash lamp for excitation
White plates with clear bottom => cell-based luminescent assays

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