Beginning and maintaining a lab is a large responsibility. One of the biggest challenges is having the right equipment. One item you’ll see on every list of essentials is well plates, but what are they and what are well plates used for? Keep reading to find out why your lab needs this essential tool.
What Is a Well Plate?
A well plate is a research tool used in labs around the world. The construction consists of a flat tray, known as the plate, with lines of holes or depressions, known as wells. They are typically manufactured in a rectangular shape with 96 wells, which is the most common size used in labs. Though they come in three different colors, the bottoms of well plates are typically transparent so researchers can see their solutions. Other common names for well plates include:
- Multiwell plates
Types of Well Plates
Different types of well plates are used for various applications. While 96-well plates are used most, 384- and 1536-well plates are also common. Well plates are made from a single piece of plastic or glass and are designed to be disposable. They are typically made from transparent, white, or black material. Well plates have shallow or deep wells for different applications; some are designed for inserting vials.
Uses for Well Plates
Laboratories find many uses for well plates; they are a standard research tool. One of the most common uses for well plates is medical diagnostic testing in humans and animals. A typical well plate can hold 10 to 1000 nano-litters of liquid, making them ideal for sample collection. Additional uses for well plates include:
- Protein quantification
- Sample filtration
- Bacterial culture growth
- Simultaneous titration
- Nucleic acid purification
- Compound preparation
It’s important to have the right well plates on hand. You should understand what well plates are used for if you operate or work in a lab. Keep things running smoothly with the right equipment.