Microplate Strips: Purposes and Working Principle

The rapid advancements in the field of science and technology are brilliantly visible to everyone, especially to those who have first-hand involvement in scientific work. Machinery, tools, laboratory instruments, all of these have been revolutionized at a modern level. A thing that used to take hours for measurement now gets done within a couple of minutes, all because of the gift of modern scientific technology.

In fact, it is unimaginable that there is something science still cannot do. That lands us on our tool for today: microplate strips. A microplate strip is a scientific tool used in the laboratory to test different reactions and then read scientific measurements and concentrations of each reaction through an electronic reader. For a layperson, it can be described as the tiniest set of test tubes.

As the term suggests, a microplate strip is literally a set of tiny plates in which the liquid substance can be held. It consists of small wells in which separate reactions take place. Every well is used for a different reaction. These reactions convert the progression of biochemical processes or the presence of the analyte into visible optical signals. In order to detect those signals (for microplate strips to work), the microplate reader is used.

The microplate (made of strips) has to go inside a microplate reader—a scientific-lab machinery that reads the chemical, physical, or biological reaction from the microplate wells and displays it to the lab doctor through the screen.

How Are Microplate Strips Made?

Microplate strips are formed of 8 microplate wells that are fitted in a straight line into plastic frames. These microplate strips combine to make a microplate. A microplate is a frame that consists of a custom number of microplate strips. Usually, it is the whole microplate—consisting of strips that have wells—that goes into the reader for the measurement. One purpose of using microplate strips is because they enable customized plate configurations—the max range is 96 wells per plate. It means that up to 12 strips can be used to make the largest microplate, consisting of 96 wells. That is why microplate strips have more value than the whole microplates.

Furthermore, microplate strips come with different capacities, shapes, and surface coatings of the well. A well in each strip can differ from the well in other strips, depending on the application of the strip. Manufactures design and make all types of microplates (or strips) to be compatible with a standard microplate reader. Opaque and clear wells are used mostly because they support analysis using various detection methods and imaging. That way, the results can be accurate in a complicated application.

Since microplate strips are a valuable scientific instrument that contributes a lot to the accurate testing in fields of biology, physics, and chemistry, their demand is rapidly increasing. Not only do they help the scientist create the best solution possible (after testing all of the reactions through microplates), but they also save operational time and costs, allowing researchers to dedicate more of their time to data analysis and insights.

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