A microplate reader is a laboratory instrument. Experts use it to measure physical, biological, and chemical reactions, analytes, and properties within the microwell plate. It has small wells and on each of them, separate reactions take place. The reactions transform the presence of an analyte or the progression of the biochemical processes to an optical signal. So, a microplate is good for detecting the signals and can quantify the parameter of interest.
Researchers and scientists in the pharmaceutical and life science industries strive to enhance the regular laboratory processes and efficiency by using instruments and products that can save time. With a microplate reader, it is easier to handle 3456 samples in just a few seconds. Also, the plate will help in reducing the operational time and save reagent cost enabling researchers to spend more time to analyze data and generate actionable insights.
Reason to Use a Microwell Plate
You can use it to quantify many biological and chemical assays in a microplate. These days the availability of several reagent kits on a website enables the use of a microplate reader in various fields and for different applications. Moreover, people use plate readers in biochemical, biological, and pharmaceutical research, in industrial, academic environments, environmental research, and in the cosmetic or food industry.
How Does a Microplate Reader Work?
A microplate reader can detect light signals that the samples produce and is pipetted into the microplate. The optical properties of the samples are due to the chemical, biological, physical, or biochemical reaction. The different analytic reaction leads to different optical changes that you can use for analysis. Fluorescence, absorbance, luminescence, and intensity are well-known. In fact, the detection modes are in constant use in laboratories across the world. Moreover, advanced modes like time-resolved fluorescence, AlphaScreen, fluorescence polarization are also available.
The measurements you take using a microplate can easily detect signals that samples product, transmit, or convert. A detector measures the signal. This is mainly a photomultiplier. PMTs transform photons into electricity. This is then quantified by the microplate. The output of the process is the number by which the sample quantifies.
On the basis of the optical signal changing nature during the time of a reaction and on the detection, mode samples have to be excited by light at certain wavelengths. It is usually provided by a broadband xenon flash lamp. For allowing excitation of the sample by certain wavelengths, the light that the lamp produces is chosen by a monochromator or excitation filter. For increasing specificity or sensitivity, monochromators or filters are used on the detection/emission side. So, you are going to find it in between the detector and the sample.
You will find 3 different types of microplates, low-binding or non-binding, high binding, and medium binding. With multiple reading modes available, you need to choose a microplate reader that caters to your future and present needs. However, this can be a daunting task as you have to take different things into consideration. Only when you make the right one, you can accomplish your task.