Maintenance Tip: Microplate Technology
Microplate readers often have multiple users, meaning lots of wear and tear on these instruments. Filters are also known to degrade over time and moving parts such as motors and belts can become misaligned. Replacing these parts, or realigning them regularly is therefore important. Having an annual quality control preventive maintenance on your reader is a key way to keep it going. Similarly, you’ll also want to look after belts and motors in your microplate handler to keep it in top working order.
How does non-routine analysis or samples affect the type of microplate technology required?
Depending on the scope and processes of the laboratory, there are a number of microplate technology options available. Common detection modes include absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence. If the sample type and assay required changes from sample to sample, then it is possible to have multi systems capable of running a combination of two, or even having all three types of detectors integrated into one system.
How will temperature- or agitation-sensitive samples influence which type of microplate technology is ideal?
For samples which are sensitive to temperature or require constant agitation or mixing, there are a variety of configurations available. On top of the ability to incorporate multiple detectors, it is also possible to have shaker and incubation functionality added. This allows complete control and customizability for researchers for a wide swath of sample and process types.
In what way will the level of data analysis and manipulation required affect the type of microplate technology needed?
Microplate technologies come with two main options for the review and manipulation of the data gathered. Integrated systems allow the user to record and analyze data in situ. However, the range of applications and available analysis types may be more limited. Alternatively, by setting up the microplate reader to an external PC, the options for data analysis and manipulation increase, at the cost of some of the convenience of having an integrated system.
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