Top 8 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Microplate Reader
- How many read modes are offered? Multiple read modes offer greater flexibility and value than single read modes.
- What kind of detection technology is used? Monochromator-based detection offers flexibility, convenience and spectral scanning; while filter-based detection is characterized by precise sensitivity and may often switch rapidly between distinct wavelengths for kinetic assays. Hybrid detection systems combine both technologies for the utmost in flexibility and sensitivity.
- Is it upgradeable? If so, can the upgrade be installed on-site? On-site installations reduce overall downtime, and often the technician is available to answer questions or conduct training.
- Is the reader automatable? Automating the process with a compatible microplate stacker increases throughput with walk-away operation.
- Ask about the software—is it integrated and user-friendly? Does it allow for pre-programmed and custom protocols? What kind of analysis is offered? How is data exported?
- Is on-site training available? Is there a fee? On-site training provides an opportunity for all staff to learn about the reader, reducing the number of subsequent trainings needed.
- What options are available? Options such as gas control, barcode scanning, shaking, and injecting increase assay flexibility for those that need these features.
- What assay validation data is available for the reader? Assay validation data specific for the reader provides proof that the reader performs as indicated.
Types of microplate readers used by survey respondents:
|Time-resolved fluorescence (TRF)||5%|
|Time-resolved fluorescence energy transfer (TR-FRET)||5%|
Microplate reader-related components used by survey respondents:
|Labeling and sealing||6%|
|Additional stacker cassettes||3%|
Nearly 25% of respondents plan on purchasing a microplate reader in the next year. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:
|Addition to existing systems; increase capacity|
|Setting up a new lab|
|Replacement of an aging microplate reader|
|New application requires a different type of microplate reader|
Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a microplate reader:
|Ease of use||99%|
|Flexibility (Available Detection Modes||97%|
|Product performance for intended application||97%|
|Low Maintenance/Operating costs||97%|
|Software for data collection/analysis||96%|
|Service and support||94%|
Completed Surveys: 220
For more information on microplate readers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/microplate-tech
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