2012 Microplate Handlers Product Survey

By Lab Manager

Microplate handlers are specialized robotic devices that transfer microtiter plates in three-dimensional space from one location within a workflow to another. The “locations” are actually operations such as solvent addition (through liquid handling), aspiration, heating, shaking, incubation, washing, reading, and storage. Plate handlers are common in laboratories that process hundreds or thousands of microplates per week, for example, high-throughput screening labs in the life science and pharmaceutical industries. Most plate handlers are used in life science industries, particularly pharmaceuticals and biotech. One can make the case for incorporating some type of robotic handler even for low-volume labs. Unfortunately, cost and complexity frighten off many potential users. Microplate handlers are indeed the “glue” that binds mission-critical microplate applications. Their value accrues from accurate, timely, unattended plate transfer that frees lab workers to perform more complex analytical tasks such as secondary screens. Many users acquire microplate handlers for speed, but their greatest benefits are the abilities to standardize microplate operations and workflows, provide greater consistency, decrease the chance of error, and track every operation that plates undergo.

Respondents who are using a microplate handler are also using the following components:

Barcode scanner 52%
Additional stacker cassettes 25%
De-lidding stacker cassettes 16%
Other 11%

The specific types of microplate handlers our readers are using in their labs include:

Microplate centrifuge 36%
Microplate stacker 24%
Microplate sealer 18%
Other 14%
Microplate labeler 8%

Main purposes our respondents are using their microplate handlers for in their labs:

Assay development 43%
Cell biology 32%
Bioassay validation 32%
DNA quantification 21%
PCR setup and cleanup 21%
High-throughput drug screening 16%
Compound investigation 14%
Biomarker research 14%
Disease studies 11%
Quality control 11%
Biomolecule concentration measurement 9%
Proteomics 7%
In vitro fertilization (IVF) 2%
Stem cell research 2%
Other 2%

The top 10 factors in our readers’ decisions to purchase a microplate handler:

  Important Not Important Don’t Know
Ease of use 92% 8% 0%
Performance of product 92% 5% 3%
Durability of product 89% 5% 5%
Low maintenance/ easy to clean 89% 8% 3%
Availability of supplies and accessories 87% 13% 0%
Service and support 85% 13% 3%
Total cost of ownership 84% 8% 8%
Warranties 84% 11% 5%
Price 82% 16% 3%
Easy integration with other products 79% 21% 0%

For more information on microplate handlers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/microplate

See the most recent survey results here

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Effective Global Leadership Magazine Issue Cover
Effective Global Leadership

Published: July 1, 2012

Cover Story

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