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Purchasing Guides

Illustration of a microplate handler
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Purchasing Guide: Microplate Technology

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

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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: LabManager.com/microplate-tech-manufacturers

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 your 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?

Misaligned Plate Transport Systems

Misalignment of the microplate transport system with the measurement optics is one of the most common problems to occur in microplate readers over time. The easiest way to diagnose this problem is to fill each well of a plate with the same concentration of fluorescein, then measure the entire plate. If there is a trend of increasing or decreasing values across the plate, and the trend is also seen after turning the plate 180 degrees, then the plate transport may be misaligned. If so, contact the manufacturer for a service call.

Future-Proof Your Microplate Technology

Do you plan on modifying assays in the future? Consider a reader that will be easy to upgrade, such as one with additional modules and parts available. Upgrading your hardware incrementally is more cost-effective than buying new equipment every time specifications change.