From basic research to clinical diagnostics, scientists in different fields rely on PCR to assess gene expression, pathology, genetic modification in organisms, microbiologic ecology, and many other critical procedures. This extensive use has given rise to a wide range of PCR protocols, reagents, kits, and products. All the components are optimized for specific uses, systems, and instrumentation. It is highly essential to make sure you have the correct plate for the job, as the wrong choice can impact the quality and accuracy of your results. To help you make the right plate choice, take a look at the key questions and considerations below.
Well-Count And Segmentation
The first question you need to ask yourself is to determine whether you need a 96-well plate, 384-well plate format, or both. This depends on the scale of your experimentation and the number of reactions you require, as well as what your PCR machine is designed to handle. If your PCR machine can read both formats, it will give you a choice to have both on hand.
While 24- and 48-well plates are also present, they aren’t used very frequently, as compared to 96- and 384-well plates. These formats are selected for experiments that don’t require 96 wells. As a better alternative, users could choose a plate format that is segmented. These plates can be used as 96-well plates or segmented into 32, 24, or 8-well segments. Plate segmentation minimizes plastic waste and cost while also maximizing flexibility.
Check Your Instrument For PCR Plate Compatibility
Not all plates fit all PCR instruments. PCR plate compatibility is determined by four main plate design features The skirt, well rim, deck, and notch.
The skirt is the panel that surrounds the plate wells. Its primary function is to provide structural stability for pipetting and handling. On the other hand, non-skirted plates can be used with a variety of PCR instruments. Skirted plates are further divided into semi or full-skirt categories. Both offer additional structural support and support robotic handling. Full-skirted plates are designed for specimens with raised blocks and provide greater mechanical strength, while semi-skirted PCR plates are the best choice for automated workflows.
Plates Fitting ANSI/SBS Footprint
It is strongly recommended that you buy plates that fit the ANSI/SBS footprint. It is the standard set forth by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and the SBS (Society for Biomolecular Sciences). The ANSI/SBS footprint was designed to ensure the cross-compatibility of PCR plates between different robotic handling systems.
Clear Wells or White Wells
For PCR reactions, users have the option for white wells and clear wells. White wells maximize assay sensitivity and minimize variability in PCR data by preventing fluorescence transmission into the thermal block. On the other hand, clear wells make the visibility of the specimen better. Before buying the PCR plates, you must look for the pros and cons of both clear and white wells and then decide according to the type of experiment you want to run.
To Wrap Up
As a molecular biology lab owner, it is necessary to be aware of these key points so that you can make your purchase accordingly. The quality of plates is also a matter worth your close attention. It is better to buy all lab necessities from a reputable source to maximize the accuracy of your lab results and minimize errors. You can purchase high-quality lab essentials from MBP Inc., as we are one of the most authentic dealers of lab accessories. We are committed to providing you with excellent quality products at market-competent rates.