What Are Well Plates and How Are They Used?

If you run experiments on a regular basis, either in the commercial setting or in the bench research setting, then you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. This includes well plates. There are plenty of well plates from which to choose, including larger 6 well plates; however, they come in many shapes and forms. Therefore, you need to think about what well plates you need for your purposes and understand how to use them.

A well plate is a flat plate that looks like a tray. Then, this tray has multiple wells in them that you can use to run multiple experiments at the same time in a cost-effective manner. Well plates can have anywhere from 6 cells to thousands of cells. This allows you to run a variety of tests in a small, compact location.

One Common Application: The ELISA

One of the most common applications of a well plate is to run a test called an ELISA, which stands for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. An ELISA is commonly used both in bench research and in the clinical setting. This test is used to detect the presence of one or more molecules. You can select well plates that hold anywhere from nanoliters to milliliters depending on the equipment you have in your research lab and the cost of the reagents you are using to run your tests or experiments.

Another Common Application: Protein Crystallization

In the bench research setting, well plates are also used to determine the structure of proteins that might be present. For example, pharmacies that are trying to find a potential drug target need to get the potential structure of their target before they can develop a drug to target that substance. Well plates are commonly used to try to crystallize proteins in a rigid structure so that imaging modalities can be used to decipher their structure. Then, a drug can be designed to target that molecule.

The Composition of Well Plates

Well plates are made from a variety of materials; however, the most common substance is called polystyrene. Think about the color when choosing the well plates. For example, black well plates are usually used in fluorescent biological assays; however, white well plates are ideal for luminescence and optical absorbance purposes. There are also transparent microplates that are commonly used in cell biology and culture experiments. Polystyrene is popular because it can handle numerous temperatures while also preserving chemical compounds for long-term use.

Find the Right Well Plates To Meet Your Needs

This is just a brief overview of well plates. Well plates are among the most ubiquitous pieces of equipment both in the clinical setting and in the academic setting. It is critical for everyone to think about which well plates they are going to use. Take the time to find the right well plates to meet your needs.