Erica Tennenhouse, PhD
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.
Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Microplate Handler
- How many plates and plate types can the handler accommodate? An ANSI-compatible handler provides increased flexibility for those using multiple plate densities (ex. 96-, 384-, 1536-well) or low-volume plates, and interchangeable plate stacks accommodate varying throughput requirements.
- What is the transfer speed? Transfer speed is especially important for increased throughput. Adding a dual plate carrier keeps two plates in process, thus further increasing assay efficiency.
- Can the handler operate in portrait and landscape configurations? A rotational gripper option optimizes positioning of the microplate handler with its mating instrument, thus improving flexibility and efficient operation.
- Does the handler fit into a hood or biosafety cabinet? Placing a microplate handler within a hood or biosafety cabinet allows users to maintain personal safety and protect samples.
- Is the handler compatible with a wide variety of other instruments?
- Does it come with a barcode reader for easy microplate identification? Barcode scanning is especially useful for increased throughput.
Types of microplate handler(s) used by survey respondents:
Top 5 microplate handler applications as reported by survey respondents:
Nearly 47% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new micoplate handler. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:
|Replacement of an aging system|| |
|Addition to existing systems, increase capacity|| |
|First time purchase|| |
|Setting up a new lab|| |
Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a microplate handler:
|Performance of product||83%|
|Durability of product||79%|
|Value for price paid||74%|
|Ease of use||70%|
|Service and support||62%|
|Total cost of ownership||61%|
|Availability of supplies and accessories||58%|
|Low maintenance / easy to clean||56%|
|Low operating costs||55%|
|Easy integration with other products||49%|
For more information on microplate handlers, visit www.labmanager.com/microplate-tech