This section provides an overview for pcr plates as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 10 pcr plate manufacturers and their company rankings.
Table of Contents
A PCR plate is a plastic experimental device used as a reaction vessel for PCR experiments. Samples are placed in the wells (holes) and PCR reactions are performed.
Compared to PCR tubes, a PCR plate is used for medium to large scale experiments with a relatively large number of samples. 32-well plates, 48-well plates, 96-well plates, 384-well plates, etc. are available in various sizes, shapes, and colors. Another feature of plates is that they can be used in automated processes.
PCR is an acronym for polymerase chain reaction, a technique that uses DNA polymerase to amplify a target DNA sequence from one to several million copies in a short period of time. Specifically, the series of reactions 1-3 below are called "cycles," and are repeated 25-35 times.
In PCR, a thermal cycler is a device used to automatically control the temperature cycle and incubation time. In order to select the correct PCR plates, it is necessary to have a proper understanding of the specifications of the thermal cycler and equipment you are using.
In addition, there are various types of PCR such as standard PCR, gradient PCR, and real-time PCR/qPCR, and the appropriate PCR must be selected according to the purpose. At the same time, it is also important to properly prepare experimental instruments and reagents according to the type of experiment.
Polypropylene is generally used as the material. Polypropylene is chemically inert, so it can withstand rapid temperature changes during thermal cycling and minimize absorption of reaction components. For efficient heat transfer, the tube walls are manufactured to be uniform and thin. Wells are available in transparent, translucent, and white colors.
The manufacturing environment must be clean and free of dust and impurities such as endonucleases, pyrogens, and DNA. This is because if the product is contaminated during production, impurities may remain and inhibit PCR, or DNA fragments may serve as templates for nonspecific amplification, thereby reducing the accuracy of the experiment.
Plates come in a variety of sizes, including 32-well, 48-well, 96-well, and 384-well plates; some 96-well plates can be divided into 24 wells each (rarely 8-well or 32-well). The frames also come in a variety of colors, and different colors make monitoring easier when multiple plates are used at the same time.
A skirt is a panel that surrounds the plate and comes in three shapes: non-skirted, semi-skirted, and full-skirted. The surrounding area of the plate surface is called the deck, and there are two types: flat deck and raised deck. The machined treatment at the corners of the plate is called notches.
Sealing is done with caps or films. It is important to select a plate according to its size, the number of samples, and the frequency of opening and closing.
First of all, it is important to choose the right plate for the type of experiment. For example, products with transparent wells make it easy to check the contents, while white products prevent fluorescence from refracting and diffusing outside the wells, thus increasing the sensitivity of qPCR.
It is also important to use wells whose volume size is appropriate for the volume of reaction solution. If the volume of reaction solution is too large, there is a possibility of inadequate heat transfer or leakage of reaction solution, whereas if the volume of reaction solution is too small, evaporation of reaction solution or loss of sample may occur. Generally, well volume size is 0.2 mL or 0.1 mL for 96-well plates and 0.02 mL for 384-well plates.
It is also important to use the right size for the thermal cycler or other instrument you are using. There are two types of well heights: normal height (standard profile) and low height (low profile). Low profile products are compatible with Fast Thermal Blocks. Also, the space area is smaller, resulting in higher thermal conductivity.
It is necessary to select a product according to the specifications of the thermal cycler or other equipment to be used. In particular, if the equipment is to be automated using a robotic platform, it must be selected to suit the application.
For example, semi-skirted and full-skirted plates have sides so they can be gripped by a robotic gripper, and furthermore, barcodes can be attached to them for recording and tracking in high-throughput experiments. It is also necessary to choose plates for automation that are constructed with strong polycarbonate frames.
Automation plates must also be constructed with strong polycarbonate frames because they must withstand the forces exerted by robotic grippers and rapid heating and cooling. These plates also require that the wells be of uniform, thin polypropylene for efficient heat transfer to the reaction solution.
The flat deck design is compatible with most thermal cyclers, but raised decks are compatible with some thermal cyclers and instruments. Suitable notch locations also vary depending on the instrument used.
There are two types of lettering that indicate well location: raised lettering and engraved lettering. While raised lettering is easier to see, engraved lettering is more suitable for automation, as it ensures sealing around the edges.
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