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Screening and storage plates: what is the criteria for choosing them?

Screening and storage plates: how to choose them?

The different types of plates

Screening plates

The screening plates are multi-well plates where each well is used as a small test tube.
They are ideal for absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence and scintillation applications.

These plates allow to :

  • test samples ;
  • determine their composition, the presence and quantity of a substance (e.g. hormone) ;
  • study the action of a drug or the links between biological molecules (e.g. enzyme) ;
  • analyse proteins (quantity and concentration).

They are available in different types of materials: polystyrene, glass background and coloured background.
The96-well plates are the most widely used, but the 384-well and 1536-well plates allow complete automation and miniaturisation of dosing.

Storage plates

Made of inert polypropylene and resistant to +121 °C, they are ideal for storage.
We have a wide range of plates to meet your needs

See All Plates

How to choose your screening and storage plates?

Depending on your needs and applications (absorbance tests, sample recovery, ELISA tests, storage, ...), four main parameters must be taken into account when choosing your plates: type of material, well configuration (type and bottom), plate colour and type of treatment. Find below a guide to help you in your plate selection.

Type of material :


  • Low chemical resistance
  • From weak to very strong binding capacity, depending on surface treatment
  • Rigid and transparent, excellent optical properties
  • Applications : homogeneous tests, ELISA, cell culture, fluorescence, luminescence


  • Low level of autofluorescence
  • Excellent transparency especially in the UV range
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Applications : spectroscopy, fluorescence and confocal microscopy


  • Good thermal and chemical resistance
  • Very low binding capacity
  • Flexible, translucent
  • Applications : storage, fluorescence, luminescence


  • High optical quality
  • Great flatness
  • Flexible, translucent
  • Applications : spectroscopy, fluorescence and confocal microscopy

Well configuration :

Well type :

  • Rounded : optimal for sample retrieval, compatible with most sealing options
  • Squared : the angles prevent capillary rise of liquids and cross-contamination between wells. Maximisation of volume in SBS format

Bottom type :

  • Flat: imaging, cell culture
  • Rounded: optimal washing, mixing, base visualisation and resuspension, automatic centralisation of samples
  • V : precipitation, centrifugation, collection of small volumes
  • Pyramidal conical : increases volume recovery and decreases dead volume

Plate colour :

White :
recommended for luminescence (e.g. luciferase); increases the signal in relation to the background noise; reflects, concentrates the signal at the detector

Transparent :
colorimetric tests, cell culture, ELISA, absorbance tests

Translucent :

Black :
recommended for fluorescence (e.g. GFP); low autofluorescence and diffusion of fluorescence between wells

Type of treatment :

Untreated (or medium fixation)

  • Polystyrene is hydrophobic in nature and binds molecules in a passive way
  • Immobilisation of large molecules (ex: antibodies)

High fixation

  • Fixation of medium (> 10 kD) and large molecules that possess ionic groups and/or hydrophobic regions


  • Minimises binding of molecules such as DNA, RNA, peptides and proteins
  • Reduces non-specific binding, improvement of the signal/ background noise ratio

Reinforced culture treatment

  • Reinforces the adhesion and development of cells

Standard culture treatment

  • Improves cell adhesion and protein binding to the surface

Low binding treatment

  • Treatment that minimizes cell attachment, protein uptake, enzyme activation and cell activation
  • Non cytotoxic


  • Treatment with collagen, Poly-D-Lysine, fibronectin
  • Increases the adhesion of difficult cells
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