Laboratory nights are interrupted every so often by the noise of a microplate reader finishing up one plate, then another, and another. But everybody--researchers and students alike--is sound asleep at home, thanks to the newest bunch of microplate reading and juggling machines. The microplate reader was created from the tube spectrophotometer designs of the 1970s to save precious antibody samples. At first clumsy and inaccurate, absorbance microplate readers have evolved to pack unbelievable power and precision, replacing cuvette spectrophotometers for most multisample applications.1 Continuous improvement is enhancing the classic designs to embrace the world of high-throughput (HT) screening and to allow complete analytical automation.2 To handle the HT range (more than 10 microplates a day or 1,000 assays), many instruments now allow robotic handling of plates "stacked" in accessory plate handlers.
Dynex's Opsys MR absorbance microplate reader
Miniaturization of all things...