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Key Considerations When Buying Microplate Technology

Microplate Technology

Quick tips on what to consider when buying microplate handlers or readers for your laboratory

by Lab Manager
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Biotek Cytation C10 Confocal Imaging Reader,
Biotek (A part of Agilent)

Microplate handling robots move microplates from one location in a workflow to another, such as microplate readers, automated liquid handlers, incubators, and storage locations. Because microplate handlers can increase user walk-away time, as well as throughput and efficiency, they are often used in biomarker research, cell biology, and assay development. For a list of microplate technology manufacturers, see our online directory:

8 Questions to Ask When Buying a Microplate Handler:

  1. How many plates and plate types can it accommodate? 
  2. What is the transfer speed? 
  3. Will it fit inside a biological safety cabinet or fume hood?
  4. Which other instruments is it compatible with?
  5. Does it use barcode reading for plate identification?
  6. Is the configuration scalable?
  7. Does it remove microplate lids?
  8. Does it enable cherry picking applications?


Microplate technology can’t solve all next-generation sequencing (NGS) challenges, but recent improvements are putting a dent in those issues. Microplates optimized and designed specifically for automation and microplate readers designed for better workflow and user experience are just some of the tools helping researchers in the NGS space.

Purchasing Tip

When it comes to buying microplate readers, some important considerations include how many read modes are offered, what kind of detection technology is used, and if the unit can be upgraded and/or automated. Lab professionals should also look closely at the reader’s software to make sure it offers the features they require and is user-friendly.