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How to Choose the Right Plate Reader


Small Molecule Drug Discovery
1 min read

How to choose the right plate reader

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Laboratories rely on microplate readers to translate experimental observations into raw data in order to process and analyze results. Microplate readers detect signals within assays, turning the targeted biological, chemical or physical signal into an optical signal so researchers can quantify the target of interest.

Using a microplate reader is efficient and minimizes operational time and saves on reagent costs by scaling down experiments. However, selecting the right microplate reader can be challenging – there’s a balance among minimum parameters, future growth, and customization options to consider.

There are multiple factors to evaluate, including:

  • Detection type
  • Additional features
  • Training and support
  • Price

With numerous options for each variable, it can be confusing to navigate the selection process. Focusing on striking a balance between functionality, optimization, and growth potential requires keen insight and continued vendor support throughout the life cycle of the plate reader.

Understanding the process

A few key questions can help you navigate toward the best fit for a reader meeting the individual specification requirements for your lab:

Q: What detection technology should you look for when selecting a plate reader for your lab?

A growing lab focused on performing reporter gene assays requires a plate reader that delivers on the importance of sensitivity while offering the potential for future upgrades or additional features as the lab matures over time.

Q: Is this technology ideal for multiple therapeutic areas?

Yes. For example, immuno-oncology researchers are faced with challenges when working to better understand the relationship between the immune system, tumor biology, and tumor microenvironments. They need versatile and powerful detection instruments to develop personalized, life-changing immunotherapies to treat cancer.

Q: How can you get the best performance optimization out of your reader?

An ideal vendor should offer workflow options based on budget, throughput, and application along with both stackers and fully automated solutions.

Q: What support options does your vendor offer in conjunction with the purchase?

The workflow of each individual customer drives software and reader compatibility discussions, of which your vendor should have a designated internal team to support customer needs.

When selecting a plate reader, understanding the balance across affordability, performance, and customization is important for labs of any size and nature.

For a detailed look on how to choose the best plate reader, this detailed guide will help you choose the right plate reader for your needs by examining the marketplace and pointing out considerations to keep in mind when making your decision.

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