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Microplate Technology 2018 Buyer's Guide

13 questions to ask when buying microplate technology

by Lab Manager
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13 Questions to Ask When Buying Microplate Technology


  1. How many plates and plate types can the handler accommodate?
  2. What is the transfer speed?
  3. Can the handler operate in portrait and landscape configurations?
  4. Does the handler fit into a hood or biosafety cabinet?
  5. Is the handler compatible with a wide variety of other instruments?
  6. Does it come with a barcode reader for easy microplate identification?


  1. How many read modes are offered?
  2. What kind of detection technology is used?
  3. Is it upgradeable? If so, can the upgrade be installed on-site, or must it be shipped back to the factory?
  4. Is the reader automatable?
  5. Is the software integrated and user-friendly? Does it allow for pre-programmed and custom protocols? How are data exported?
  6. Is on-site training available? Is there a fee?
  7. What assay validation data is available for the reader?

Safety Tip

In general, there are few hazards associated with microplate readers and handlers. In fact, by removing part of the manual process of handling samples and because of their ability to be installed in biosafety cabinets, microplate handlers can actually increase safety in the lab. However, if you are working with biohazardous samples, you’ll want to ensure you’re wearing the proper PPE when loading or unloading the instrument. With microplate handlers in particular, some parts of the machine may present a pinch hazard when operating, so users should keep their hands and fingers clear.

Helpful Links

For all you need to know about microplate technology, see 


See how microplate technology has evolved over the years in our free infographic: